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Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy

The Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis 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 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 while sheltering at home. 

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.


man with head in hands and woman across from him at desk

The Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy emphasis in the MA degree in Pastoral Ministries is offered in two hubs within California. In the Northern California hub the GPPM classes are delivered in the Diocese of Oakland at Cathedral of Christ the Light Parish at 2121 Harrison Street, only two short blocks from BART. The Southern California hub is located at the Diocese of San Diego Pastoral Center at 3888 Paducah Drive. Application to the program is ongoing for start in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer quarters.

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 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 professor meet together for two hours on a designated weeknight.