The Chaplaincy Institute and Starr King School for the Ministry Joint Program for Interfaith Chaplaincy

New Partnership and Affiliated Program Announcement

The Board of Directors, Staff and Faculty of The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI) and Starr King School for the Ministry (SKSM) are proud to announce a formal affiliation between the two institutions based on an agreement endorsed by ChI’s leadership early this year and officially signed at an SKSM board meeting on May 1.  The purpose of this affiliation is to integrate the ChI Certificate of Interfaith Studies into Starr King’s accredited Master’s Degree (Masters of Divinity or Masters of Arts in Social Change) program, thereby providing a pathway for students to meet both the educational and ecclesiastical requirements for certification as a professional chaplain.

This affiliation marks an exciting time for both schools who each, in distinct yet complementary ways, seek to provide visionary, relevant, and creative tools for ministry, spiritual care and sacred service for all beings, in myriad settings.  This announcement is one of celebration and offers an overview of our new partnership. 

To receive “board-certified chaplain” status from the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc. (BCCI), an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), requires a 72-credit Master’s degree (or its equivalent) from a seminary accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education (such as SKSM) and ordination/endorsement from a recognized body.  The ChI Interfaith Community is a religious, ordaining entity that has been recognized as an Ecclesiastical Endorsing body by both the APC and the ACPE (Association for Clinical Pastoral Education).  This “ChI-SKSM Joint Program for Interfaith Chaplaincy” is especially intended for students whose vocational aim is to become a board-certified chaplain.
Collaborative Curriculum, Credits Awarded
Through this affiliation, ChI and SKSM agree to admit students jointly, allowing students to pursue both a ChI Interfaith Studies Certificate and a SKSM M.Div. or M.A.S.C. degree concurrently, with the ChI certificate as an integral component of earning their SKSM degree.   A total of 18 credits towards meeting the requirements of an SKSM M.Div. or M.A.S.C. degree will be awarded to students who commit to and complete the full ChI program as part of their SKSM degree.  Programmatic details and information about admissions and enrollment (for current and future students at BOTH schools) will be provided in early June.

In an era where chaplaincy is taking many new forms, and in many different and new contexts, it is good and right to be engaged in the work of preparing religious leaders who will be able to mindfully respond, in a broad variety of religious traditions with respect, preparedness and compassion.  This is a core value for both schools. 
We are excited about this new program and our formal affiliation, and we look forward to continuing to enhance our ability to be of service to and support those who are on the path to professional chaplaincy.  With joy and anticipation, we share our gratitude and extend a warm welcome to our extended community at Starr King!

For more information, please contact ChI’s Executive Director, Vicki Weiland atvicki(at) or Shirley Liu at sliu(at) at Starr King.


Starr King Board & Staff sign agreement with ChI's Dean, Rev. Lauren Van Ham at Starr King on May 1. 


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