Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Spiritual Care, M.S.

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Program Description

The Master of Science in Spiritual Care is designed for those called to a ministry of pastoral spiritual care in a variety of contexts: hospitals and health care settings including children’s, and veterans’ facilities; hospices; behavioral health and community care facilities; workplace settings; geriatric and rehabilitation centers; and congregational and parish-based settings.  Skills and knowledge attained in this program may be transferrable to other areas of ministry including university, military, and prison chaplaincy.

Mental and Physical Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Master of Science in the Spiritual Care program must:

  1. Be able to speak clearly and professionally.
  2. Have communication abilities sufficient to interact professionally with others in verbal and written form.
  3. Possess critical thinking skills sufficient to think clearly and act appropriately in stressful situations.
  4. Possess interpersonal skills sufficient to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.S. in Spiritual Care program must:

  1. Submit an application online and nonrefundable $50 application fee.
  2. Present evidence of a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  3. Present current official transcripts from all undergraduate and/or graduate institutions attended. Admission GPAs will be calculated based on credits and grades from regionally accredited institutions only. Transcripts must be mailed or delivered electronically to the Office of Admissions from each institution attended. Transcripts will be considered official only when received directly from the institution and not hand-delivered by the applicant or faxed by the institution attended. Failure to disclose all colleges previously attended could result in denial or dismissal. Additionally, transcripts from institutions outside the United States must be evaluated by approved credential evaluation companies. Please see Foreign Transcript Evaluations for more information.
  4. Present official transcripts for each College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement (AP), and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) examination taken only if the applicant would like them to be considered for fulfillment of prerequisite requirements. CLEP scores reported on an official college transcript are also acceptable for this requirement.
  5. Present a minimum undergraduate and graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  6. Present an updated résumé.
  7. Complete a personal essay or goal statement outlining career goals, the applicant’s desire to attend a faith-based institution, specifically AdventHealth University, and an explanation of the applicant’s call to pastoral ministry in a specialized context.
  8. Submit two reference letters from the following:

    a.  Pastor or faith community leader 

    b.  Someone who knows your academic performance 

    c.  Someone who knows your work ethic/experience

    d.  Someone who has known you for more than 5 years

  9. Successfully complete the personal interview. 

Meeting the minimum standards for admission does not guarantee admission to the program.

Note: Competency in computer skills is assumed.

MSSC Transfer Credit Policy

Students may transfer up to 50% of the credits towards the Master of Science in Spiritual Care if each course meets the following criteria:

  • It was completed at a regionally accredited institution within the past ten years.

  • It is three semester hours (or equivalent) and was passed with a grade of “B” or above (a “P” grade will not be considered).

  • The content is equivalent to a course in the MSSC program as evidenced by the title, description, and syllabus.

The following courses  must be taken at AdventHealth University and will not be considered for transfer credit:

  • CHPL 590 . Research and Evidence Based Practice in Spiritual Care

  • CHPL 620 . Organizational Mission Leadership

  • CHPL 669 . Capstone Project

Employment Considerations

Seventh-day Adventists

  • Students seeking employment as a Board-Certified Chaplain at AdventHealth who have not completed a Bachelor’s degree in theology, religious studies, or similar degree from a AAA accredited Adventist university or college, should complete the SDA Ordination Track Coursework as part of their MSSC degree.

Other faith Traditions

  • Students should consult with their particular faith tradition concerning requirements for denominational endorsement and board-certification.

Reapplication Process

Applicants who are not admitted to the Master of Science in Spiritual Care program during a specific admission cycle may reapply to the program for the next admission cycle as long as they have successfully met the minimum admission requirements. Reapplicants are expected to meet the published admission deadlines by submitting the following additional information to the Office of Admissions:

  1. Application online with a non-refundable $50 reactivation fee.
  2. Updated official transcripts from any accredited institutions attended since the original application was submitted.
  3. Provide an updated resume.


Full time students in the Master of Science in Spiritual Care program at AdventHealth University are expected to advance through the curriculum within four years while maintaining high standards of academic performance and exhibiting professional conduct. Part time students must complete the program within six years. Students who fail to meet these standards may be placed on probation and/or dismissed from the program.

Standards of Academic Performance

  1. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above while in the program. The assessment of the cumulative grade point average will begin at the start of the third trimester.
  2. A student who receives a grade below a “C” for the first time may progress in the program if her/his GPA remains at 3.0 or above, but the course must be repeated for a passing grade.
  3. A student who receives a grade below a “C” for the second time will be suspended from the program for at least one trimester, and the course must be repeated for a passing grade upon readmission.
  4. A student who receives a grade below a “C” for the third time will be dismissed from the program.
Readmission Process

If an individual who has been dismissed from the Master of Science in Spiritual Care program for academic concerns desires readmission, he/she must submit a formal request to the Program Director and undergo an interview with the program admissions committee. The request must detail the reasons for underperformance and provide a compelling plan for successful completion. If the program admissions committee approves the request, the student’s advisor may design an individualized course of study for her/him, which may include directed study and the repeating of coursework that may have already been successfully completed during initial enrollment.


  1. Met the general requirements for the Master of Science in Spiritual Care degree.
  2. Completed all required courses in the Master of Science in Spiritual Care curriculum with a 3.0 GPA or better.
  3. In order to complete the one unit of CPE required for the degree, participant will be required to apply to the ACPE Center of their choice and be admitted to the CPE at the Center based on the on the interview and application process defined by that Center. 
  4. Completed all required courses in the Master of Science in Spiritual Care curriculum within 72 months of their acceptance into the program. 

Program Start

Fall, Spring, and Summer Trimester

Admits per Intake

20 per trimester


Total: 9 Credit Hours

Total: 12 Credit Hours

Total: 21 Credit Hours

Total: 27 Credit Hours

Total: 3 Credit Hours

Total: 10 Credit Hours

Total: 6 Credit Hours

Additional Specialization Areas

Total: 6 Credit Hours

Organizational Mission Leadership Specialization

(requires completion of the following electives in addition to the three required electives for the degree program)

Total: 6 Credit Hours

Introduction to Pastoral Counseling Specialization

(requires completion of the following electives in addition to the three required electives for the degree program)

Total: 3 Credit Hours

Total: 20 Credit Hours

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