Launch Your Career in Ministry with Liberty University’s Master of Divinity in Chaplaincy – General Program
If you want to prepare for Christian ministry beyond the walls of the church, Liberty’s online Master of Divinity (MDiv) in Professional Chaplaincy – General degree is for you. Our program can help equip you to serve as a chaplain in a variety of settings, including hospitals, corporations, sports teams, or the military.
Even if you haven’t completed a ministry-related bachelor’s degree, you can still take the next step toward a chaplaincy role by completing Liberty’s MDiv program. Our general chaplaincy track allows you to mix and match unique courses so that you can tailor your degree to meet your ministry goals. At Liberty, you can gain prestigious credentials and hands-on chaplain experience that can help set you apart as a leader in your field.
*Some exclusions apply. Please refer to our exclusions page for more information.
Can you become a chaplain online?
With our 100% online MDiv in Professional Chaplaincy, you can gain the skills and knowledge you need to pursue chaplaincy roles in a variety of settings. Liberty University’s seminary programs are designed to give you theological training and real-world experience. We offer a flexible format that allows you to go to seminary online without needing to travel to our physical campus.
Do you need to have a degree to be a chaplain?
Most organizations require at least a bachelor’s degree for you to serve as a chaplain. In addition, many institutions prefer job candidates who have also completed a divinity master’s program. Whether or not you hold a ministry-related bachelor’s degree, our MDiv in Professional Chaplaincy can help you pursue your career goals.
Is a chaplain the same as a pastor?
Pastors and chaplains have much in common, and it is possible for an individual to serve in both roles. However, the duties and responsibilities of a chaplain often differ from those of a pastor.
Pastors typically serve within the church and minister to local congregations. In contrast, chaplains provide spiritual guidance and support in secular institutions outside the church. They may serve in hospitals, companies, prisons, nursing homes, police and fire departments, and schools, among other places. As a chaplain, you have the unique opportunity to meet the spiritual needs of those who may not attend church on a regular basis.
Liberty University’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Your divinity degree is approved by ATS and has met rigorous accreditation standards, so you can feel confident that your degree is both academically excellent and well-respected among churches, ministries, and nonprofit organizations.
Why Choose Liberty’s Online Master’s Program in Chaplaincy – General?
If you are looking to pursue full-time ministry, Liberty University’s MDiv is a great option. As pioneers in distance learning, we’re committed to providing an education that works with your schedule. This program is offered 100% online and offers the flexibility you need to take the next step in your career. You can complete your classes from the comfort of your home and easily access your course materials whenever you need them.
In this program, you’ll learn from professors who have years of experience as chaplains and ministers. Our faculty are passionate about what they do, knowledgeable in their field, and dedicated to helping you develop your ministry skills and prepare for the future. You can be confident that your accredited degree from Liberty University can help you pursue exciting opportunities in the professional world.
Receive Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Training
As part of Liberty’s online graduate program in chaplaincy, you can complete Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) training. These units are designed to combine academic study with supervised, hands-on clinical experience.
CPE courses provide you with valuable experience and mentorship from seasoned chaplaincy professionals, allowing you to attain mastery of chaplain ministry. By completing CPE units, you can be more equipped to effectively minister to people in your institution or organization. You can learn how to help people of all ages face challenges and grow in their personal walk with Christ.
To provide you with maximum flexibility, Liberty University’s chaplain program offers 2 ways to complete your CPE training:
- You can complete your CPE courses as 1-week intensives on Liberty’s campus. This format lets you take advantage of our state-of-the-art facilities and connect face-to-face with other ministry students and faculty. Our residential modules are accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).
- During your intensives, you will work in a clinical site with guidance and approval from our CPE program director.
- You can also complete your CPE units with an ACPE-accredited training program in your area.
- In addition to working at a clinical setting near you, you’ll receive virtual mentorship from Liberty’s chaplaincy faculty. That way, you can develop your skills, learn from chaplaincy professionals, and gain hands-on experience — all without needing to leave town!
What Will You Learn in Our MDiv in Chaplaincy Online Program?
Liberty’s master’s online in chaplaincy provides the core ministry coursework and specialized training you need to impact the world for Christ.
In this program, you’ll complete 63 credit hours of ministry-focused studies. These courses explore a variety of topics, including world religions, biblical leadership, intercultural communication, sermon preparation, and pastoral counseling. You’ll also dive into the history of Christianity and take Greek and Hebrew classes so that you can increase your understanding of the Bible in its original languages.
Several of our core courses focus specifically on chaplaincy. For example, you will shadow professional chaplains in various settings so that you can learn about the skills, strategies, and character traits needed to succeed as a chaplain. You can also explore matters such as ministry, ethics, evangelism, discipleship, and spiritual development in the context of chaplaincy.
Within the general area of study, you can learn how to become a resilient chaplain, lead others through crises, and help individuals and organizations overcome challenges. To gain real-world experience, you can complete CPE training or a chaplaincy internship.
- CHPL 621 – Level 1 Unit 1 Clinical Pastoral Education
- CHPL 631 – Clinical Pastoral Education Unit 1*
- CHPL 645 – Chaplain Resilient Leaders
- CHPL 699 – Chaplaincy Internship*
*Course guide coming soon
Highlights of Earning Your Master of Divinity at Liberty University
- We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of Niche.com’s best online schools in America. Earning your online Master of Divinity (M.Div.) in Professional Chaplaincy degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
- Your success is our success, which is why we’re committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years — and counting.
- To continue our mission of providing affordable education, electronic textbooks are included for all divinity courses* at no cost to you. As a full-time student, this could save you an estimated $800-2,000 per year on textbooks!
*Electronic textbooks are not provided for courses that fall under departments outside the School of Divinity.
General Professional Chaplaincy Degree Information
- This program falls under Liberty’s John W. Rawlings School of Divinity.
- Download and review the Degree Completion Plan.
- View our Graduate Divinity Course Guides (login required).
Military Benefits for Liberty’s MDiv in Chaplaincy – General
Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.
As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering the following benefits:
- Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for part-time graduate courses
- Discounted divinity block rate: $2,475 per semester – only $165/credit at 15 credit hours*
- Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
- 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)
*Credits taken below 9 and above 15 credit hours are charged at the part-time rate.
Admission Requirements for Liberty University’s Online Graduate Program in Professional Chaplaincy
A regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 2.0 or above GPA is required for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information.
All applicants must submit the following:
- Admission application
- Application fee*
- Official college transcripts
- Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
- Pastoral Recommender Contact Information
- School of Divinity Questionnaire
- Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)
*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses — documentation verifying military status is required.
**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first.
Potential Careers for Graduates with a Degree in General Chaplaincy
- Corporate chaplain
- First responder chaplain
- Law enforcement chaplain
- Military chaplain