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Preparing for a Career in Chaplaincy through the Loyola Institute for Ministry

Are you considering pastoral/spiritual care ministry as a board certified chaplain? The Loyola Institute for Ministry can prepare you, and then the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) can certify you. LIM’s Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS) degree fulfills the NACC requirement to have a graduate level theological degree in divinity, theology, religious studies, pastoral ministry, pastoral studies, or spirituality from an accredited academic institution in order to take the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) units through NACC board certified organizations. Since 1965, NACC members have continued the healing ministry of Jesus in the name of the Church. LIM‘s Master of Pastoral Studies degree can help prepare you to serve God and others in this way.

LIM helps you to develop an approach to spiritual care that is informed by a method of practical theological reflection and action and to develop the qualities necessary for chaplaincy and pastoral care ministries. At LIM, you will explore your own professional and ministerial competencies to learn how to communicate more effectively, speak and act in ways that fully honor the dignity and value of every individual, and build more fruitful collaborative relationships. A diverse array of focus area concentrations—including Pastoral Care, Digital Culture and Ministry, Pastoral Life and Administration, Christian Spirituality for Ministry and more—allow you to customize your degree plan.

In addition, LIM’s approach to spiritual formation is integrated throughout our courses. Our method shows you how to explore the psychological, spiritual, and sociological implications of living a life of faith and engaging in ministry by reflecting theologically on lived experience. LIM teaches habits of spirituality and self-reflection necessary for those who feel called to support people with their spiritual and emotional wellbeing. LIM fosters personal, spiritual, and professional growth throughout your studies–and after you graduate!

For information about applying for the MPS program, click here. Current LIM students may contact Dr. Tracey Lamont at

What You Can Do with a LIM MPS Degree and NACC Certification

As a chaplain certified by the NACC, you can practice chaplaincy in a variety of contexts, including

  • healthcare

  • nursing

  • social work

  • palliative/hospice

  • trauma center

  • first responder

  • law enforcement/military

  • college/university

  • sports

  • corporate

Certification Process

To become a board-certified Catholic Chaplain through NACC, you must meet these prerequisites (see National Association of Catholic Chaplains for details):

  • be Roman Catholic or a member of one of the churches in union with Rome

  • complete a graduate-level Theological Degree in theology, divinity, religious studies, pastoral ministry, pastoral studies, or spirituality from an accredited academic institution (Note: the LIM Master of Pastoral Studies fulfills this requirement)

  • complete a Bachelor’s degree from a college, university, or theological school accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

  • complete a minimum of four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

  • be a Full Member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC)

Further Information

Click here for more information about NACC, to find answers to questions, a video on the chaplaincy ministry, and testimonies by many serving in this spiritual care field. Also visit the NACC website homepage for a brief video on chaplaincy.

If you are currently a LIM student, consider becoming a student member with NACC by filling out an application. Being a member will help your discernment by connecting you with others who are working in or preparing for spiritual care ministry.

If you want to know more about the NACC certification process, please contact the NACC office at 414-483-4898,, or email the Executive Director Erica Cohen-Moore.

Click here to view job openings on the NACC website.