graduate theology students and faculty sitting outside on a ledge

Can you envision yourself accompanying others along their spiritual journeys in hospitals, prisons, institutes or corporations?

Whether you would like to explore the possibility and see what chaplaincy is about or invest yourself in a program, the Villanova Department of Theology and Religious Studies is here to support you! 

Explore a course . . . 

Try out one course (in person and online offerings) within our Chaplaincy Track. Sample offerings include: 

  • Spirituality of/for Care(givers) 
  • Foundations of Systematics 
  • Human Growth and Development 
  • Foundations of Ethics 
  • Educating for Mission 

Explore the experience . . . 

Complete a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at an accredited CPE program in a local hospital.


Prepare for Certification . . .  

Complete our Certificate in Pastoral Ministry by transferring in two CPE units and completing 18 credits of Theology. Catholics who have at least 500 hours of ministry experience will be eligible to apply to be a Certified Associate Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC). 


Enroll in the Chaplaincy Education Track ...

The Chaplaincy Education track within our MA in Ministry and Theology program (which includes transfer of two CPE units). 

Following completion of the MMT Chaplaincy Education Track, only two additional CPE units are needed for eligibility to apply to become a Board-Certified Chaplain through the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) or the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).

NACC Chaplaincy program

Virtual information session about Chaplaincy

To help with discernment and pathways to chaplaincy, view this recording led by our program directors and chaplaincy professionals.

Jennifer Jackson, ThD
Director of Master's and Certificate Programs

Stefanie Knauss, PhD
Co-Director, Ph.D. Program - Programming & Advising

Jonathan Yates, PhD
Director of Admissions, Ph.D. Program 

Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Villanova University
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
St. Augustine Center Room 203
Villanova, PA 19085



January 8: For admission to the PhD program with or without assistantship

February 1: For admission to master's programs with funding consideration

August 1: For admission to master's or certificate programs without funding for the fall

December 1: For admission to master's or certificate programs without funding for the spring

If you have missed a master's or certificate program deadline, please contact the program coordinator to discuss your options.

Begin your application.


Elisha Chi, doctoral candidate, was named the recipient of an Honorary Dissertation Fellowship, Louisville Institute, August 2023. Chi was also awarded a 2023 Villanova Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship.

Perdian Tumanan, doctoral student, was selected as one of the Roothbert Fund Fellows for the 2023-2024 academic year.

headshot of Elisha Chi
Elisha Chi
headshot of Perdian Tumanan
Perdian Tumanan