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MINS411 Chaplaincy in Diverse Contexts

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The role of the chaplain in diverse contexts, with particular emphasis on the forms of traumatic stress that chaplains deal with in each setting.

This paper explores the theology (or philosophy) and practice of pastoral ministry in diverse chaplaincy settings: including school and tertiary; healthcare; community; workplace; military; prison and disaster contexts. The paper pays particular attention to how chaplains can care for those experiencing trauma, as well as how they can care for themselves, and develop in ministry practice, as they care for others. The paper is designed for people engaged in care giving, including chaplains and ministers, as well as for those seeking to become involved in care giving roles. 

Paper title Chaplaincy in Diverse Contexts
Paper code MINS411
Subject Ministry
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Second Semester (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,154.90
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,801.79

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Limited to
BA(Hons), PGDipArts, PGCertChap, PGDipChap, MChap, BTheol(Hons), PGDipTheol, MTheol, PGDipMin, MMin
Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.
Dr Lynne Taylor
Teaching staff

Lecturer: Dr Lynne Taylor

Paper Structure
  • Module 1: Introductions (Videoconference 1)
  • Module 2: Theology; Contexts #1 (Teaching Day)
  • Module 3: Pastoral formation #1; Trauma #1; Contexts #2 (Videoconference 2)
  • Module 4: Pastoral formation #2; Trauma #2; Contexts #3 (Videoconference 3)
  • Module 5: Pastoral formation #3; Resilience; Contexts #4 (Videoconference 4)
  • Module 6: Pastoral formation #4; Contexts #5 (Videoconference 5)
  • Module 7: Pastoral formation #5; Contexts #6 (Videoconference 6)
There are four assessment tasks:
  1. Pastoral case study (2200 words plus verbatim; worth 25%)
  2. Essay (and presentation) on Chaplaincy in a Selected Context (2500 words plus 10 minute presentation; worth 35%)
  3. Six posts on Pastoral Formation and Self-care (Each 400-500 words: maximum 3000 words total; worth 25%)
  4. Three responses to Context Presentations (Each 300-400 words: maximum 1200 words total; worth 15%)
Teaching Arrangements

This paper is taught by distance.
There are six videoconferences and a teaching day held in Wellington.


There are two compulsory text books for this paper:

  • Doehring, Carrie. The Practice of Pastoral Care: A Postmodern Approach. Louisville and Kentucky: Westminster John Knox, 2014
  • Swain, Storm K. Trauma and Transformation at Ground Zero: A Pastoral Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2011.

Additional readings available via e-reserve. Other material will be posted (or linked to) on Blackboard.

Course outline
View the course outline for MINS 411
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to:
  1. Critically analyse the similarities and differences between chaplaincy tasks and roles in diverse settings
  2. Articulate their own personal formation (in chaplaincy, if appropriate,) as regards pastoral identity, responsibility, authority, collegiality and accountability to self and others.
  3. Outline a process of pastoral assessment, key pastoral interventions, and plan of care.
  4. Describe at least one model of pastoral theology applicable to chaplaincy in diverse contexts.
  5. Articulate how a careseeker's beliefs, values, and faith impacts how they experience stress, and face crisis.
  6. Describe how a careseeker's family, social, cultural systems and the intersectionality of their identity impacts on how they experience stress, and face crisis.
  7. Assess and analyse how loss, violence, and ways of coping impact on how a careseeker experiences stress and faces crisis.
  8. Articulate the way traumatic stress might be experienced in diverse chaplaincy settings.
  9. Describe and differentiate between the characteristics and symptomatology of grief, traumatic stress, and moral injury, and critically analyse the role of the chaplain in serving people who have experienced these and in helping them develop resilience.
  10. Describe conditions for the development of and the symptoms of secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue, and burnout, as it impacts those in chaplaincy (and other 'helping' professions), and outline a plan of care to mitigate against the formation of such.
  11. Critically analyse the significance of the readings from a different global perspective on chaplaincy in the New Zealand context (including in our bicultural and multicultural society and in relation to recent disasters and tragedies).
  12. Articulate a plan and a theology of self-care applicable to the student's own needs and context.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system