In partnership with Perth Bible College, Australia, we are delighted to be able to offer an online Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy) – available from April 2024.

What you will gain

Following successful completion of the two-year programme – graduates will be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy).

Why study with us?

Having a successful track record in Chaplaincy course provision, Waverley are delighted to be able to add the Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy) to their portfolio. This online course will build your skills as a chaplain, underpinning what you have already learned and put into practice through our Contemporary Chaplaincy course, with robust theological and biblical studies.

Programme content

The Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy) is a two-year, online, tutor-led course comprising of:

Year 1: Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy) / Certificate in Contemporary Chaplaincy

30 weeks, 2-hour online cohorts:

This first year course acts as an “access” course for the second year Graduate Diploma. ALL students must initially undertake the Waverley Contemporary Chaplaincy course, comprising 5 facilitated modules:

  • Introduction to Chaplaincy
  • A Theology of Chaplaincy
  • Models of Chaplaincy – Measuring our Impact
  • Chaplaincy in Faith and Non-Faith Contexts
  • The Chaplain and Self-Care

A sixth module comprising a self-reflective journal is undertaken throughout the course of study.

This Waverley course effectively forms the first year of the Graduate Diploma, although students exiting the course after year 1 will be awarded the Waverley Certificate in Contemporary Chaplaincy.

Certificate in Contemporary Chaplaincy
With the option of tutor or self paced learning, this online course will start your journey to begin ministering as a Chaplain.

Year 2: Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy)

32 weeks, 2-hour online cohorts:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Theology (in practice)
  • Old Testament Survey
  • New Testament Survey

Programme content

The 4×8 week modules are designed to inform and impact the student’s chaplaincy knowledge (orthodoxy) and practice (orthopraxy). The robust modules in biblical studies, theology, Old Testament and New Testament will all be considered and delivered through a chaplaincy “lens” – aimed at enhancing the chaplain’s everyday ministry within their specific sector.


Can I study the second year if I have not studied the first year Contemporary Chaplaincy course?

No – the first year of the Graduate Diploma is effectively the Waverley Contemporary Chaplaincy (CC) course. All students studying on the second year for the Graduate Diploma award must have completed the CC course first.

If I have successfully completed the Waverley Contemporary Chaplaincy (CC) course, will I automatically be able to do the second year leading to a Graduate Diploma?

No – whilst the CC course is a requirement, it is not a guarantee. Entry onto the second year will depend on their performance on the CC course, and assessment at an interview as detailed in the “Entry Requirements” section below.

If I apply for the 2-year course and leave after 1 year, what award will I earn?

As you will have completed the non-HE Waverley Contemporary Chaplaincy programme – you will be awarded the Waverley Certificate in Contemporary Chaplaincy.

Can I apply for student finance for the course?

No – the only post-graduate level of study within our Applied Theology Faculty that attracts student finance is at MA level – and this is subject to specific criteria.

Are bursaries available for the Graduate Diploma?

There are limited discretionary bursary awards available for each year of the Graduate Diploma, subject to a brief bursary application and assessment of applicant need. This can be discussed at your course interview.

Which institution validates the Graduate Diploma and is the qualification recognised in the UK?

The course is validated by Perth Bible College in Australia. The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) is an internationally recognised qualification framework with close parity to the UK and European qualifications framework.

Year 1: Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy) / Certificate in Contemporary Chaplaincy – cohorts commence 18th Sep 2024 (Weds lunchtime 12-2pm, OR Thurs evenings 7-9pm)

Course fee: £2,000

Year 2: Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy)– cohorts commence 25th Sep 2024 (Weds evenings, 7-9pm) OR 26th Sep 2024 (Thurs lunchtime, 12-2pm)

Course fees: £3,750

Further information

Course assessment methods

Student’s will be assessed through a combination of written assignments, presentations and a reflective journal.

What you can do after the course

The full (two-year) Graduate Diploma in Ministry (Chaplaincy), as a higher education qualification, will open out a broader range of ministry opportunities for students who successfully complete it. The course also enables successful students to apply to join the Association of Waverley Abbey Ministers (AWAM), in addition to apply for ordination (in conjunction with our ordaining partner Churches in Communities International).

Entry Requirements

Route A: Candidates must possess an undergraduate qualification (a first degree 2.2),  with suitability assessed at an interview following application submission.

Route B: 

Candidates, without an undergraduate qualification and can demonstrate significant life and ministry experience, can also apply.

For Route B candidates, a portfolio OR resume of their ministry and learning journey within chaplaincy will also need to be provided prior to the interview. Candidates who are successful will be able to join the Graduate Diploma course in year 2, having already undertaken the year 1 modules within their previous Waverley studies.

Ministry Placement:

A ministry placement of 5 hours per week is required throughout year 1 and 2 of the course.

Study Commitment:

Year 1:

  • 2 hours per week online cohort
  • 2 hours per week homework*
  • 5 hours per week placement

Year 2:

  • 2 hours per week online cohort
  • Approximately 3-6 hours per week reading/homework*
  • 5 hours per week placement

*this may vary slightly according to student ability and approach to study/reading


Sep 2024 Year 1 Cohort AA (Wed lunchtime)
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Sep 2024 Year 1 Cohort AB (Thu evening)
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Sep 2024 Year 2 Cohort C (Weds evenings)
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Sep 2024 Year 2 Cohort D (Thu lunchtime)
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