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Graduate Certificate

Students in the Graduate Programs in Pastoral Ministries can earn a Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy. The requirements consist of twenty-four quarter units which are made up of six core courses and can be completed in one year.

If one finishes the requirements for the Graduate Certificate and wishes to pursue the MA degree in Pastoral Ministries all of the credits earned will apply.


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Online or In-Person

The Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy from Santa Clara University prepares ministers to engage the community with justice initiatives that heal and emphasize the restoration of right relationships. This entails a paradigm shift from retributive systems to initiatives that seek to restore individuals, families, and communities to health and wholeness. Our program enhances the gifts and skills that students bring to the table through academic, theological, and spiritual education to focus their ministerial practices on restoring relationships. Some concrete disciplines where this work is being employed are education, detention/prison ministry, health care, hospice, trauma, mental health, re-entry programs, interfaith services, and community services. The Covid-19 pandemic crisis has certainly highlighted the need for people with compassion, pastoral accompaniment, and reflective listening skills to engage with those who are suffering on the front lines and in the margins. 

Students in this emphasis will:

  • Gain a broad theological foundation in restorative justice and chaplaincy that is foundational to pastoral ministries;
  • Develop pastoral skills, enhance ministerial praxis, and explore intercultural and interreligious dialogue for restorative ministries;
  • Recover the incarnational roots of kinship to restore balance to the beloved community in diverse global settings;
  • Identify a critically informed approach to faith that promotes social justice for the benefit of those most in need.


Through the “blended learning” approach the classes are taught with both face-to-face and online collaborative methods. The classes are taught within a ten-week quarter; three of these face-to-face or online classes are held on Saturdays throughout the quarter from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a lunch break. During the other seven weeks of the quarter, the classes are taught online as a web conference where students and professors meet together for two hours on a designated weeknight. 

The Certificate requirements are the following courses:

  • Theological Foundations for Ministry
  • Introduction to Restorative Justice
  • Chaplaincy
  • Trauma and Healing in a Broken World
  • Intercultural and Interreligious Competencies
  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System or Integrative Chaplaincy