Interreligious Chaplaincy Program

The GTU’s innovative interreligious chaplaincy program equips leaders with the skills and interreligious understanding necessary to meet the spiritual and religious needs of increasingly diverse populations, as well as to offer expertise in religious traditions that have traditionally been underrepresented among institutional chaplains. 

Above (l-r): CIS Director Munir Jiwa, Chaplain Bruce Feldstein, GTU President Daniel Lehmann, CJS Director Deena Aranoff, and Chaplaincy Director Kamal Abu-Shamsieh at a September 2019 event exploring Jewish and Islamic Perspectives on Spiritual Care 

Program Description

The first of its kind, the GTU’s interreligious chaplaincy program equips leaders to practice spiritual care among diverse populations. The program offers students the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Interreligious Chaplaincy, as well as an MA in Islamic, Jewish or Hindu Studies--religious traditions underrepresented among institutional chaplains. The certificate will also be open to students who have previously earned a qualifying master’s degree. The program is scheduled to welcome its first cohort of students in Fall 2020. 

Spiritual care is a vital need across industries, including hospitals, universities, military, government, immigration, family and social services, incarceration, disaster relief, organizational and rehabilitation. This program provides the skills to effectively serve persons from diverse religious backgrounds in a wide variety of contexts and life stages. Coursework will incorporate practical spiritual care and interreligious training, as well counseling, theology and ethics, and spiritual care. The certificate fulfills requirements for board certification to practice chaplaincy, but also provides spiritual caregiving skills that can be applied outside the context of traditional chaplaincy.

Students interested in the combined MA and certificate should apply to the GTU MA program, indicating their interest in pursuing the certificate in interreligious chaplaincy along with an MA in Jewish, Islamic, or Hindu Studies. Students seeking to enter the certificate program who already possess a qualifying master’s degree, or who are currently enrolled in the MA program at the GTU, should contact

“The Interreligious Chaplaincy program will prepare students of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu traditions for careers in spiritual care where they are grounded in their faith and competent to care for diverse communities. The impact of this program, and the work of the leaders it will train, will be felt locally and internationally.”
Dr. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, Director
GTU Interreligious Chaplaincy Program


For more information on the Interreligious Chaplaincy program, contact Dr. Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, program director, at For infomation about applying to the GTU, contact

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