Master of Science

Curriculum Structure

The first three options of the Master of Science degree are designed to meet the outcomes of Level II Clinical Pastoral Education. The fourth option is offered to persons seeking certification as ACPE Supervisors. Outcomes for these options are described in section 312 and 313 of the ACPE Standards:

  • The first option is Chaplain Certification Track and is available to individuals who have a previous graduate degree or who have at least two years of graduate education in theology, the behavioral sciences, or the health related sciences. It is assumed that completion of this option will take 4-5 semesters.
  • The second option is the Dual Degree Track (M.S./M.Div.) which will be offered cooperatively with two Richmond area graduate institutions of theological education (Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond and The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology of Virginia Union University). The dual degree is designed as a four-year program with four full semesters spent in residence at Virginia Commonwealth University. Students enrolled in the dual-degree program will remain in good standing at VCU while enrolled in their seminary studies. Each sponsoring institution will grant its respective degree.
  • The third option is an Accelerated Master of Science degree available to students who hold a Master´s degree and who have completed one unit of ACPE clinical pastoral education.
  • The fourth option is offered to persons seeking certification as supervisors according to the Standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc (ACPE). Individuals seeking admission to this track will have completed the Master of Divinity degree and at least four units of clinical pastoral education. This track may also be completed in 4-5 semesters.

    The program curriculum consists of a total of 44 credit hours. As is presently the case with the certificate program, enrollment for all courses by non-Patient Counseling majors requires the permission of the instructor. The completion of the first three curriculum options completes the minimum educational requirements of national certifying bodies such as the Association of Professional Chaplains, Inc.

Curriculum Plan

Option One: Chaplain Certification Track
Master of Science in Patient Counseling (VCU)

Semester Course Credits
     
One PATC 515 Basic Patient Counseling 9
     
Two PATC 611 Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling I 5
  PATC 613 Group Process I 2
  PATC 635 Clinical Ethics 2
  PATC 640 Research Basics for Hospital Chaplains 1
     
Three PATC 612 Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling II 5
  PATC 614 Group Process II 2
  PATC 639 Pastoral Care Management 2
  PATC 641 Evidence-Based Inquiry for Hospital Chaplains 1
     
Four PATC 617 Supervised Clinical Practice I 5
  PATC 615 Theory of Group Leadership 2
  PATC 642 Developing & Presenting Chaplaincy Research 1
     
  Electives 1
  Additional Electives 6
  Total 44

Electives might include PATC 592 or courses in the 620 and 630 series, 697, as well as courses in Rehabilitation Counseling or Gerontology.

Students who have completed at least one unit of accredited clinical pastoral education may seek faculty approval to waive the PATC 515 prerequisite requirement for more advanced courses that include clocked clinical hours.


Option Two: Dual Degree Track
Master of Divinity (STVUU, BTSR) and
Master of Science in Patient Counseling (VCU)

Year Course Credits
     
Year One MDiv*  
  Pastoral Care** 3
     
Year Two PATC 515 Basic Patient Counseling 9
  MDiv* 3
  Ethics** 5
  MDiv* 2
     
Year Three MDiv* 2
  PATC 611 Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling I 1
  PATC 613 Group Process I 5
  PATC 635 Clinical Ethics 2
  PATC 640 Research Basics for Hospital Chaplains 2
  PATC 612 Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling II 1
  PATC 614 Group Process II 5
  PATC 639 Pastoral Care Management 2
  PATC 641 Evidence-Based Inquiry for Hospital Chaplains 1
  Elective 1
  MDiv*
 
     
Year Four PATC 617 Supervised Clinical Practice 1
  PATC 615 Theory of Group Leadership
  PATC 642 Developing and Presenting Chaplaincy Research
  Elective  
  MDiv*  
  Total 44
* MDiv refers to courses and requirements at respective seminaries
** Seminary Course


Option Three: Accelerated M.S. Track
Master of Science in Patient Counseling

Year Course Credits
     
One PATC 611 Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling I 5
  PATC 613 Group Process I 2
  PATC 635 Clinical Ethics 2
  PATC 640 Research Basics for Hospital Chaplains 1
     
Two PATC 612 Theory and Practice of Patient Counseling II 5
  PATC 614 Group Process II 2
  PATC 639 Pastoral Care Management 2
  PATC 641 Evidence-Based inquiry for Hospital Chaplains 1
     
Three PATC 617 Supervised Clinical Practice I 5
  PATC 615 Theory of Group Leadership 2
  PATC 642 Developing and Presenting Chaplaincy Research
1
  * Additional Course Electives 2
     
  Total 30


Option Four: Supervisory CPE Track
Master of Science in Patient Counseling

Persons who have previously completed the MDiv degree, or its equivalent as assessed by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and four units of accredited Clinical Pastoral Education may seek admission to the M.S. degree with a focus on Supervisory CPE. Only students admitted to this track are eligible to take courses numbered 653 through 696. The M.S. requires a minimum of 44 credit hours according to the following model:

Semester Course Credits
     
One PATC 653 Patient Counseling Evaluation I 4
  PATC 615 Theory of Group Leadership 2
  PATC 661 History of Pastoral Supervision 3
  PATC 640 Research Basics for Hospital Chaplains
1
     
Two PATC 654 Patient Counseling Evaluation II 4
  PATC 663 Theory of Pastoral Supervision I 3
  Electives 1
  PATC 641 Evidence-Based Inquiry for Hospital Chaplains
1
     
Three PATC 694 Advanced Clinical Pastoral Supervision 7
  PATC 674 Developing and Presenting Chaplaincy Research
2
  PATC 642 Developing and Presenting Chaplaincy Research 1
     
Four PATC Intensive Supervisory Practicum 9
     
Five Additional Electives 6
     
  Total 44


Electives might include PATC 665, 692, 697, or for those still in the certification process, 696, which may be repeated.

Persons interested in pursuing certification as a supervisor by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education will be expected to follow, under faculty guidance, the procedures outlined in ACPE's Manual on Certification.

Each full-time semester at VCU is designed to meet the requirements for one unit of supervisory CPE as accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.

Students who have completed degree requirements may continue to enroll as special students if completing residency requirements at VCUHS or certification requirements with the ACPE.

Statement of Accreditation

Virginia Commonwealth University/VCU Health System is accredited to offer CPE (Levels I/II) and Supervisory CPE by The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., 1549 Clairmont Road, Suite 103, Decatur, Georgia, 30033, 404-320-1472.  ACPE URL: www.acpe.edu

http://www.sahp.vcu.edu/ptc/programs/options.html
http://www.sahp.vcu.edu/ptc/programs/certificate.html
http://www.sahp.vcu.edu/ptc/programs/ms.html


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