CHC42315 Certificate IV in Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care

The Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care is a 12-month course for developing practical skills to help people work through life issues and assist in times of crisis. Within this course you can also choose to specifically study just some units as part of our School Chaplaincy Upgrade (SCU), Ministers Chaplaincy Upgrade (MCU), or complete some of the elective subjects for professional development. More details below.

Course Description

The Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care is a dynamic, practical course designed to equip you to provide a high standard of chaplaincy support in a variety of contexts in the community. It is taught by experienced and passionate chaplains through a series of intensives.

The intensives involve you in an interactive group learning environment in which to learn, discuss and practice. These intensives are supplemented by the practicum component of working in the field in areas such as prisons, schools, hospitals and aged care. Students arrange and undertake a 100 hour chaplaincy placement in an area of choice as a part of their training.

CertIVChaplaincyPastoralCare 2.png

Course Structure

This course comprises 13 units of competency completed over 1 year full time or 2 years part time.

To be awarded the Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, students must demonstrate competency in all units.

  • 11 core units
  • 2 elective units

Entry Requirments

Essential Requirements: Nil.


This program requires a government issued Unique Student Identifier (USI) number. See for details and to secure your USI.

A 200-word Statement of Intent, which is a short summary of why you wish to study this program.

A reference from a Minister/Community Leader which endorses your readiness and suitability to complete the chaplaincy training and undertake a chaplaincy work placement in the community. The letter should contain the endorser's letter head, contact details and signature. Examples of appropriate community include: Pastor or Minister, Rotary Member, Council Member, or JP.

Study Modes

Delivery Modes*: Face-to-Face (Campus class), Online Live (Zoom class), Online Recorded, Intensives
Locations**: Perth, Online
Duration: 1 year full-time/2 years part-time
Intakes: Multiple intakes across the year

* Our study modes are flexible so you can mix-and-match different modes throughout your course to fit your needs. For example, a face-to-face student can choose to attend some classes online or an online student may choose to take some subjects face-to-face.

** Some subjects may only be available in certain study modes each semester. Please check the timetable for the most up-to-date information. Face-to-face classes can be delivered weekly or via intensives, where the subject is delivered in a block over consecutive weekdays and/or weekends. Some subjects must be completed face-to-face to meet professional accreditation requirements.

How Chaplaincy study works

Training is completed in 3 day Intensives, which means taking minimum time off work. This Intensive format creates opportunities for networking and enhanced learning. There is also a weekly evening class format offered in Sydney. Assessments are completed online, which means greater flexibility in your study plans.

How placement works

The placement component of the course gives students the opportunity to apply skills in a diversity of chaplaincy roles – including prisons, schools, aged care facilities, hospitals, youth centres - with links to potential employment and Chaplaincy networks.

Study support

Alphacrucis offers a high level of support to all students. Chaplaincy Tutors are available Monday to Friday by phone, email, Zoom or in person to answer your course questions, to assist you assessments and with the online Moodle system.

Fees & Timetable

A complete Fee Schedule for all Alphacrucis programs and courses can be found in our Fees Information section.

For a full list of course dates for new and continuing students, please see our Timetables.

Government loans are unavailable for this course. An alternative option is Study Loans, a private student loan provider. To learn more about VET loans provided by Study Loans, click here.

Course Learning Outcomes

Not applicable to VET courses.

Meet Laura

Laura Douglas describes her joy working as a Chaplain at a school in Western Sydney.

Meet Ben

"After getting my placement in an Aged Care facility, I nominated to do one full day a week there. After only finishing my essentials in chaplaincy, and being there for a bit over three months, they offered me a choice of two positions. I took the homecare job, because I’m still studying to finish my Cert IV, but I feel so blessed that now I can start as a Chaplain. God has given me the desires of my heart.”

Ben Hoitink,
Chaplaincy Graduate

Ben_Hoitink transparency

Work-Integrated Learning

As part of unit CHCPAS002 Provide Pastoral and Spiritual Care, students must arrange and undertake a 100-hour chaplaincy placement in an area of their choice and engage in supervision as a part of their training.

Chaplaincy Career Opportunities

This program equips you to become a Chaplain or pastoral carer in diverse areas such as:

  • prisons
  • schools
  • hospitals
  • aged care facilities
  • different sporting codes
  • and other community settings

Professional Development Days

We have a range of electives that you can study as a part of a Professional Development Day to equip you for some of the biggest issues faced today. Our electives allow you to specialise in your field of interest, in subject areas as varied as Domestic Violence, Homelessness, Problem Gambling, Drugs & Alcohol, Aged Care and Young People.

Special rate applies for Chaplaincy Australia members and ACC Pastors completing as a Professional Development day.

Note: Students who are enrolled in the full Certificate IV course must complete elective units for credit. Optional accreditation for all others.

School Chaplaincy Upgrade (SCU)

How it works

Students needing to obtain the two mandatory units for school chaplaincy can complete the School Chaplaincy Upgrade (SCU) by attending the relevant sessions during a Chaplaincy intensive or a School Chaplaincy Upgrade course. Dates for upcoming SCU are listed on the AC timetable page. This intensive with assessments is completed online.

Units Included

  • Respond to client needs (CHCCCS016)
  • Work with people with mental health issues (CHCMHS001)
  • The School Chaplain and Self-Care (additional non-accredited unit)

Professional Accreditation

All Alphacrucis Chaplaincy training is endorsed by Chaplaincy Australia. The Courses are approved by the C.C.A.C. (Civil Chaplains Advisory committee), which means that students who have completed this course are eligible to apply for chaplaincy positions in NSW hospitals and prisons.


Get the support you need while studying at AC

For information on the range of student support services available, please see Student Services.

student support 300x200
Ministers Chaplaincy Upgrade (MCU)

How it works

This is a short program for Pastors and Ministers with years of experience looking to upskill or move into the Chaplaincy field. This includes a 3-day Intensive (8.30am-5pm) and assessments completed online. Pastors who choose this option complete 2 units of study (below), receive a statement of attainment, and may complete additional units.

  • CHCCCS016 Respond to client needs
  • CHCMHS001 Work with people with mental health issues

Student Story

"I recently completed the Ministers Chaplaincy Upgrade. The balance of a 3-day intensive and then assignments in an online setting made the course very manageable.

The intensive equipped me to better understand some of the challenges and principles around issues like mental health and responding to client needs. The assignments resourced me to know what is available in my local area to support people, which I have found invaluable. It has also opened a door for me to volunteer as a Chaplain in my local community. Highly Recommended."

Ps Paul McCullock
Hope Unlimited Church

Ps Paul McCullock

Course Code: CHC42315