MA Schools Chaplaincy

MA Schools Chaplaincy

Enhance your practice within Chaplaincy within an education setting

Enhance your practice within Chaplaincy within an education setting

3 years part-time
Bishop Otter Campus
  • Develop your theological knowledge and expertise
  • Enhance and enrich your ministry and practice.
  • Discover new and exciting insights which will impact your ministry.
  • Reflect in depth on your current practice.
A row of Bibles on a shelf


Reflect on the particular challenges of working with young people in your local context

Our MA in Schools Chaplaincy helps those whose ministry is entirely or mainly in schools or academies.

You will learn to reflect theologically on your local context exploring the particular challenges of working with young people in an educational environment.

We build on your expertise and knowledge through practical projects designed to help those serving as chaplains to explore the issues which most impact on their ministry.

You will be taught through your attendance at three-day schools in August, January and May, which are followed by a series of assessment tasks.

The Course

Explore major questions and concepts around religion

At the beginning of our MA Schools Chaplaincy course, you will be introduced to the key ideas which underpin practical and public theology, which provide a strong foundation for your independent research that will form the basis of your final dissertation.

You will learn to reflect theologically on your local context exploring the particular challenges of working with young people in an educational environment.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Public and Practical Theology

This module equips you to engage and reflect theologically on social, political and pastoral issues and questions which arise locally, nationally and globally. You will critically examine public and practical theological methodologies and perspectives utilised by British and international theologians. You will explore the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies primarily by employing them to analyse and reflect on specific issues and questions which emerge from your context.

Practical Theology Project

This module allows you to reflect theologically on your local context. You will critically examine different approaches to theological reflection with a focus on their practical deployment within the local context. The module then explores the ways in which social scientific evidence can be gathered and analysed to inform analysis of your own local context

Christian Ethics in Contemporary Society

The aim of the module is to analyse the ways in which Christian ethical perspectives can contribute to the formation of contemporary social, economic and political communities. You will explore critically the most important features of contemporary Christian ethics and evaluate these in light of broader ethical debates and discussions. You will also consider the contemporary context by exploring classic Enlightenment ethical perspectives and then the postmodern critique of these ideas.

Christian Mission in Western Society

This module helps you develop a theologically informed mission strategy for your local ministerial context. You will explore the contemporary religious context in Western society, as you use the work of important sociologists of religion to examine current issues and debates within mission theology. The module will then focus on the theological and practical issues likely to shape local mission strategies, which you can then apply to your own ministerial context.

The Bible and Public Theology

This module examines the role of the Bible in the public sphere. You will critically engage with the major issues related to the Bible and public theology, from sexuality, morality and anti-Semitism to religious rights, democracy and blasphemy. By the end of the module, you will have the ability to critically evaluate the role of the Bible in the public sphere and to respond to the uses and abuses of the biblical in relation to the political.

Christian Spirituality

This module introduces you to key concepts in Christian spirituality and allows you to reflect theologically on the relationship between spirituality, theology and other appropriate disciplines, e.g. insights from education and psychology. You will draw on a range of sources from the Christian spiritual tradition that continues to provide insights for the contemporary world.

Dissertation in MA Theology

The dissertation represents the culmination of your MA journey. Each student will undertake a critical enquiry into a particular area of theological interest or professional practice, utilising analytical and methodological skills acquired during the course of the programme. You will identify a problem in theology or practice falling within the general terms of reference of the discipline and address the issue from a critically perspective, working towards a potential theological solution.

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of internationally-recognised research staff

Allocated teaching days

Teaching for the MA Schools Chaplaincy course is delivered in three school blocks a year; each of which lasts for three days.

You may either visit the University of Chichester on a daily basis or, if you live further away, we can help you find suitable accommodation if required.

You will learn by attending our allocated academic days; our three-days schooling programmes. We offer extensive support, especially for those returning to study after a long period, meaning you will the confidence in your academic skills to fully explore your ideas.

Academic year 2022/23

  • Tuesday 23 August – Thursday 25 August 2022
  • Tuesday 3 January – Thursday 5 January 2023
  • Tuesday 9 May – Thursday 11 May 2023

Dissertation Day: Friday 26 August 2022, 10:30am – 3:30pm (for any students completing their second year in this academic year)

Stand alone modules

Some modules can be studied alone, whereby you can study one module and accumulate the credits but are not registered for the full degree.

For more details on our MA Christian Ministry modules, please contact Professor Graeme Smith (

Support for the module ‘Christian Leadership’ is available from the diocese of Chichester. Please contact Rev’d Dr Earl Collins ( or Canon Rebecca Swyer (


Assessment is through a variety of academic and practical tasks, ranging from essays to book reviews, short articles, case studies and practical projects. The assessments are relevant to your local ministerial context.


Discover facilities and research centres that support your learning

Student View

Hear how this course has helped previous students

Former MA Schools Chaplaincy student Revd Adrian Stark-Ordish


MA Public Theology
“One of things I really value about the course is that it has helped me to build upon the knowledge gained through my undergraduate study. Particularly by enabling me to see how theology can engage with, and is relevant to public culture, and in this way how it can be a very practical subject. I also like that the course offers a great variety of modules such as biblical studies, ethics and spiritually as well as theology. In terms of particular assignments, I really enjoyed the liturgy and ritual assignment as that enabled me to write an assignment where theology was engaging with secular forms of popular culture."

Course Costs

Course fees 2022/23

UK fee
£770 per 20 credit module
Students study 3 x 20 credit modules a year and so the full year cost is £2,310.
Church Authority recommendation fee
£499.95 per 20 credit module
£1499.85 full cost.

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

University of Chichester alumni receive a 15% discount on our postgraduate courses.

Student loans

You can access support as a University of Chichester applicant from the Student Finance Office ( including how to apply for a loan and what funding models are available.

Entry Requirements

If you wish to apply for a place on our MA Schools Chaplaincy course, please contact Professor Graeme Smith – 

Normally you will be required to:

  • Have experience working in a ministerial or theological context
  • Have a university theological qualification or a good honours degree in a humanities subject together with experience in a church context
  • Attend an interview
  • Submit your application online through the university web site
  • If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is IELTS 6.5 overall with no element lower than 5.5 (or equivalent qualification)

For those applying from the Diocese of Chichester a fee arrangement is in place which allows students to study with support from the diocese.

For more information please contact either:

For those applying from the Diocese of Portsmouth support may be available.

The Rev’d Dr Anthony Rusttell –

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

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