Spiritual and Professional Development of the Chaplain – CHPL 598

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course addresses the professional and spiritual formation of chaplains. Students will observe and evaluate, first-hand, various chaplain ministries. Attention is given to the biblical nature of chaplain ministry and its practical application within the secular and pluralistic contexts of the military, healthcare, and community chaplain settings. Special emphasis is given to formation of godly character necessary for successful chaplain ministry.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The chaplain needs to understand the biblical nature of chaplain ministry and its application within secular and pluralistic contexts. The student needs to observe and evaluate various chaplain ministries first-hand in order to best understand how to provide soul-care, as well as lead spiritually within the framework of secular, pluralistic environments. Additionally, a chaplain must be spiritually grounded and growing in the Lord in order to minister within military, healthcare, and community chaplain settings.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Appraise the biblical nature and work of chaplaincy within military, healthcare, and community settings.
  2. Assess the value of chaplain ministry as observed firsthand in pluralistic chaplaincy contexts.
  3. Summarize the biblical basis for spiritual disciplines and daily living.
  4. Analyze the disciplines essential for a strong spiritual formation.
  5. Critique the evidence of spiritual disciplines in his/her life.
  6. Create a spiritual growth plan pertinent to a specified type of chaplaincy ministry.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of spiritual formation as revealed in the spiritual disciplines and pastoral leadership.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student will reply to at least 3 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words. (MLO: A, B)

Spiritual Assessment Assignment

The student will complete a personal Spiritual Assessment as the basis for a Spiritual Development Plan. The student will reflect intently on his/her daily relationship with the Lord in 6 parts and complete a personal SWOT analysis as the seventh part. The Spiritual Assessment paper must be at least 900 words and include 3 biblical integrations. (MLO: C, E)

Student's Log Assignments (4)

The student will write entries recounting his/her ministry observations and spiritual reflections. The student must incorporate at least 2 scholarly citations and 3 biblical integrations, and write a minimum of 500 words for each Student Log entry. (MLO: A, C, D)

Shadow Evaluation Assignments (4)

The student will complete a 3.5 hour interview/shadow with 4 chaplains or ministers (for a total of 14 hours and 4 evaluations). The student will evaluate his/her shadowing experience. Each of the 4 evaluation reports must be at least 1,300 words and incorporate at least 2 textbook citations, and 4 biblical integrations. (MLO: A, B, C, D)

Shadow Evaluation Paper Assignment

The student will compare his/her 4 Shadow Evaluations and write a paper based on lessons learned. The Shadow Evaluation Paper must be at least 1,600 words, follow current Turabian format, and incorporate at least 3 course textbook citations and 3 biblical integrations. (MLO: B, E, G)

Spiritual Development Plan Assignment

The student will create a Spiritual Development Plan. The Spiritual Development Plan will focus on specific and measurable steps the student will take over the coming modules to implement and practice chosen spiritual disciplines. The purpose in creating a Spiritual Development Plan is to intentionally map the student’s part of the spiritual formation process. The Spiritual Development Plan must be at least 2,500 words, follow in current Turabian format, and must incorporate at least 5 textbook citations and 5 biblical integrations. (MLO: E, F)