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New Online Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy first at SCU

Santa Clara University’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries is offering a new Online & In-Person Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy.

Santa Clara University’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries is offering a new Online & In-Person Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 13, 2022 — In response to the growing demand for education and expertise in restorative justice, Santa Clara University’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries (GPPM) is offering a certificate in restorative justice and chaplaincy—believed to be one of the only such programs in the nation. The certificate, which will be available in person or online, will be offered to any post-undergraduate students interested in healing communities through ministry or chaplaincy. 

The certificate expands upon a popular offering from GPPM for the past three years, in which master’s of arts students could receive an emphasis in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy. 

“I am so pleased the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries is able to respond nimbly to the strong demand for leaders in the field of restorative justice with this certificate —and to be able to meet interested students wherever they may be,” said Daniel Press, dean of the Santa Clara University College of Arts and Sciences.

In contrast to traditional ministerial approaches when crime or trauma affects a community, restorative justice seeks to accompany all who are experiencing trauma, violence, loss, or disenfranchisement—offenders, families, victims, and the community. The practices aim to heal, rehabilitate and restore broken relationships. The COVID-19 pandemic, growing incarceration rates, rising poverty, and a need for support within schools contributed to increased interest in restorative justice studies.

“The concrete practices and skills involved in restorative justice embody an approach to ministry that seeks to mirror that of Jesus,” said Joe Morris, director of GPPM. “It has been a very underutilized approach despite lasting and proven success in restoring and repairing communities.” 

Aiming to educate leaders, the addition of this new online certificate will better prepare students to serve in communities including schools, hospitals, parishes, bereavement ministry, prison chaplaincy, advocacy ministry, victim-offender dialogues, re-entry programs, and mediation, among others. Additionally, it can act as a path towards a salaried career as a chaplain or restorative justice minister.

The new certificate is part of a larger initiative, SCU Online, which aims to meet demand for programming such as restorative justice with online or online/in-person hybrid programming. It also builds on the university’s work during the pandemic to make the online learning experience more personal and interactive. 

“We are excited to launch our first online graduate certificate at Santa Clara University,” said Toby McChesney, vice provost for graduate programs. “SCU Online will grant more accessibility to all students interested in our programs. Given Santa Clara’s Jesuit roots, it  is fitting that we  lead the way with a program in restorative justice.”

Morris and his team aim to mirror the in-person experience online by ensuring students feel a connection to their professors, peers, and the university. The program promises the Jesuit value of cura personalis (care of the whole person) to provide students with a personal experience.

Scholarships and financial aid assistance are available. Apply now.


Upcoming Information Sessions:

Register Now!

Thursday, August 25 at 11:30 AM & 5:30 PM PT

Thursday, September 1 at 11:30 AM & 5:30 PM PT


About the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries
Founded in 1983, the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University offers small classes in both face-to-face and online blended formats for those pursuing a Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministries. Tailored to students’ ministry goals, the program provides a strong theological foundation to an international body of students. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University
The College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of Santa Clara University. Our faculty integrate transformative teaching and innovative scholarship to engage students in the processes of learning, discovery and reflection as members of a community of scholars. For more information, visit

Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121


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