Behavioral Health Practice for Chaplains Certificate

3 Courses
10 Units
Online Fixed-Date

Enhance Your Pastoral Care Practice with Greater Knowledge and Skills for Clients with Behavioral Health Issues

The Behavioral Health Practice for Chaplains Certificate program provides professional development in behavioral health didactic content and supervised practicum for hospital chaplains in the health care system.  Participants will learn the classification of common psychiatric disorders and other behavioral health terminology.  They will learn their prevalence and causes. Common medications and treatments will be explored and how pastoral care can be integrated into behavioral health treatment planning. The program finishes with behavioral health matters such as how spirituality can benefit wellness, how to work with behavioral health providers, providing advanced pastoral counseling skills, and with the onset of technology, how telebehavioralhealth practices can be utilized with pastoral care.

The Behavioral Health Practice for Chaplains Certificate is offered by the USD School of Leadership and Education Sciences’ Catholic Institute for Mental Health Ministry and facilitated by the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. The certificate is designed for professional practice with the goal of enhancing pastoral care to clients with behavioral and mental health issues and disorders.

Certificate Requirements

Complete the requirements below to earn a professional certificate in Behavioral Health Practice for Chaplains. The certificate can be completed in less than 7 months. Read Certificate Benefits and Policy.


A) Participants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a college, university, or theological school accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and a graduate-level theological degree from a college, university or theological school accredited by a member of the CHEA. Equivalencies for the undergraduate and/or graduate level theological degree will be granted by the individual professional organizations according to their own established guidelines.
B) are currently serving in an official capacity as a Chaplain in health care, educational, military or human services settings.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to regulations from the U.S. Department of Education, the University of San Diego is unable to enroll students in its online programs who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

Schedule & Fees

Required Courses

All courses from this stream are required for completion of this certificate
Course Date Units Price
Introduction to Behavioral Health [MIN-X700] See details for more information 3
See details for more information
Online Fixed-Date

First course of three online courses in the University of San Diego’s Behavior Health Practice for Chaplains Certificate program that provides professional development to those that minister to patients in the hospital setting.

Current Psychopharmacological and Psychological Treatments for Major Psychiatric and Behavioral Health Disorders [MIN-X701] See details for more information 3
See details for more information
Online Fixed-Date

Second of three online courses in the University of San Diego’s Behavioral Health Practice for Chaplains Certificate program, that informs chaplains on medications and treatments of major behavioral disorders to better serve their spiritual care.

Advanced Topics in Behavioral Health for Chaplains [MIN-X702] See details for more information 4
See details for more information
Online Fixed-Date

Online course that provides professional growth to chaplains in the hospital and other health care settings that want to better understand their clients with mental and behavioral health issues and disorders.

Total Cost not Currently Available

Learning Method Information

Online Fixed-Date

Online Fixed-Date: Online fixed-date courses offer a convenient, yet rigorous style of learning that enables you to collaborate with your instructor and other students in a shared, online learning environment. These courses have fixed start and finish dates, but as an online student you will have 24/7 online access to your classroom assignments, syllabus and course resources. Our online fixed-date courses allow you to work on your assignments anytime, although you are required to complete the assignments by specific dates.

How is the learning structured? In an online fixed-date course, you and your classmates will proceed through the curriculum together, collaborating in a shared learning experience. Each online fixed-date course is asynchronous, meaning that you can work on your assignments anytime, although required to complete the assignments by specific dates. The course is designed with learning modules where all of the content is grouped into weekly assignments. Each module covers one or more topics. Within each of the learning modules, you can expect the following components:

  • Module introduction that outlines what you can expect to learn in the module.
  • Required readings (textbook, articles, journals, etc.) and presentations (audio and/or video).
  • Assignments with due dates (which may include: written assignments, journal entries, research, blogs, etc.) based on the readings and presentations.
  • Discussion forum where you answer prompts from the instructor and interact with your classmates.
  • Module conclusion to review the topics and what you should have learned.
  • Typically, there is a final project, paper, or exam due in the last module that culminates all of the topics covered in each of the learning modules. You’ll find that the design of the learning modules has a rhythm to help you manage your time in the course.


Enroll in this certificate program, by registering for the first course, MIN-X700.  The certificate fee is added to this first course. This is a cohort-based program where you will take each course after the other, in order.  Earn graduate-level extension credit in semester hours from the University of San Diego.

What You’ll Learn

Who Should Attend

This certificate program is designed for hospital chaplains seeking professional development in behavioral health.

Key Benefits of Educator Certificates

Develop Expertise

From classroom management and bullying prevention to teacher leadership, USD certificates provide career-enhancing skills and knowledge.

Document Your Achievement

Bolster your resume as an educator by adding a University of San Diego certificate to your professional development accomplishments.

Advance Your Salary

Boost your career by earning Graduate-Level-Extension-Credit and position yourself for salary advancement at your school.


Professional development courses offered by the University of San Diego’s Division of Professional & Continuing Education are taught by faculty that possess a depth and breadth of academic and real-world professional experience.

Careers Outlook

Employment opportunities in the education field — including adult education — are expected to grow by almost 1 million new jobs by 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). With so many new and emerging opportunities, adult learning institutions and programs are going to have to compete heavily to attract and retain the most talented educators.

This makes furthering your education and diversifying your teaching skill set all the more important. By growing your expertise in a wide variety of educational concepts, you will broaden your career prospects and become a valuable asset in any learning environment.

Industry Insights

10 %

Job growth


Median salary

Career Opportunities

District Level Professional Development Provider
Instructional Coach
Academic Director
Conference Speaker
Workplace Trainer
Continuing Education Instructor
Anyone interested in leading other adults through trainings, workshops, or presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for completing a certificate program?

Requirements for completing a certificate can be found on the certificate page.

Are the continuing education courses transferable to a master degree program?

Professional and Continuing Education courses that are transferrable to a USD master degree will be stated on the course or certificate page. If you wish to transfer credit, it is your responsibility to confer with the receiving institution before enrolling, as each
individual academic institution decides whether or not to accept USD Professional and Continuing Education credit.

How long do I have to complete the Certificate?

You have five years to complete the certificate.

What are your registration/drop/refund policies?

Click here for complete details regarding our refund, drop and transfer policies

What if I can’t get into a course because it is full?

Prospective students can request to be placed on a waitlist. Should a space open up in a course, those on the waitlist will be notified. We encourage you to register early for courses.

Why USD?

The Professional and Continuing Education program nurtures key partnerships on the local, national, and international level. The goal is to better serve working professionals who seek to enhance or build their careers and help achieve their highest value and potential. Contact us today to learn more.

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