Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

PAST317 Chaplaincy Studies

The practice of chaplaincy in diverse settings within contemporary New Zealand along with listening skills, theology of chaplaincy, and self-care.

Chaplains have a unique opportunity to provide care and bring a spiritual focus for people beyond the walls of the church. This paper will provide an overview of the role of the chaplain in a variety of settings, including secondary and tertiary education, hospitals, prisons, the army, the community and the workplace. We will explore what chaplains do, and why, as we work to discover and articulate a theology (or philosophy) of chaplaincy. The “ministry of presence” and the essential skill of listening will be explored both theologically and practically.

Paper title Chaplaincy Studies
Paper code PAST317
Subject Pastoral Studies
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2021 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $913.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,073.40

^ Top of page

One 200-level PAST or PASX paper
MINS 409
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Theology
May not be credited together with PASX 206 or PASX 306 passed in 2010, 2012 or 2014.
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.

Teaching staff

Lecturer: Dr. Lynne Taylor

Paper Structure


  • Theology of chaplaincy and models for chaplaincy
  • The theology of a “ministry of presence”
  • The role of listening in chaplaincy
  • Providing spiritual care to people with no religious affiliation and to people who embrace a different religion than the caregiver
  • The similarities between chaplaincy in various settings
  • The unique challenges and opportunities of chaplaincy in those settings
  • Building physical, emotional and spiritual resilience for chaplain


  • Two essays (2,000 words) - 25% each
  • One essay (3,000 words) - 35%
  • Online discussion - 15%
Teaching Arrangements

Six 2-hour videoconferences and one teaching day.

No textbook required. A course book has been developed for this paper.
Course outline
View the course outline for PAST 317
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 at 300-level will be able to
  1. Analyse the similarities and differences in the role of chaplain in diverse settings
  2. Describe and analyse the significance of the skills that are necessary for a chaplain, with particular emphasis on listening skills
  3. Articulate theological foundations for chaplaincy ministry and the skills related to those foundations, as well as the student's own theology or philosophy of chaplaincy
  4. Analyse the implications of a pluralistic culture for chaplains in light of the student's own theological perspective
  5. Articulate self-care challenges for chaplains that come from theological, emotional and physical issues and analyse one's own ability to address those challenges

^ Top of page


Not offered in 2021

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