High School Chaplaincy for Priests Graduate Certificate

With a focus on the evangelization of high school students and practical skills in classroom management, participants will form young people ever more deeply in sanctity, fidelity to Catholic teaching, and joy in the Christian life as they discern their vocations.

The certificate in high school chaplaincy is for priests looking to respond to their vocation of mentoring high school students. Priests have received excellent theological training in the Church’s seminaries in the traditional areas of systematics, Scripture, homiletics, church history, and liturgy and sacraments. However, many ordained priests often find that a large part of their work involves working in a Catholic high school as a chaplain and that high school chaplaincy presents particular pastoral challenges.

High school chaplains in the Diocese of Bismarck have impressively met those challenges. Their labor has been fruitful, with a record number of priestly and religious vocations from the Catholic high schools. The courses in this program are taught by many of these experienced priests, who will mentor and train new chaplains to be successful in this pastoral role.

During this certificate program, participants will take part in a week-long institute. Concluding the on-site event, there will be a three-day high school chaplaincy conference on our main campus in Bismarck, ND.

Take the First Step

Get in touch with any questions or submit a simple application for admission.
We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

of former Catholics in the United States left the Church before age 23 (Survey by Pew Forum).

Program Length

9 credits / 3 courses / 3 semesters


  • Online with an on-campus institute

Tuition per Credit


Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Priests with a vocation to serve young people

Career Paths

  • High school chaplain

What You’ll Learn

  • Foundational pastoral and evangelistic strategies to engage the minds and hearts of students in our time and our culture
  • Pastoral strategies from the Apostolic Age for the evangelization of a Catholic high school student
  • Strategies necessary for effective teaching and learning
  • Diocesan theology standards to decisions on curriculum, instruction, and assessment

Program Details

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

Evangelization of a Catholic Student (3 credits)

Firmly rooted in the rich soil of the Church’s ancient catechetical tradition, this course details foundational strategies for renewing the hearts and minds of young people in our contemporary cultural moment.

Teaching in a Catholic School (3 credits)

This advanced introduction to the Church’s holistic approach to secondary education applies Catholic pedagogical principles to curriculum design, classroom management, student assessment, and technology integration.

Building a High School Chaplaincy Program (3 Credits)

In this program capstone, each certificate candidate will translate his learning into concrete practice by synthesizing course proposals, activity plans, and event designs into a comprehensive student mentorship model.

For a full list of fees, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

The University of Mary is committed to putting your educational goals within reach. Learn what scholarships you qualify for.

We welcome students from various backgrounds, including transfer students from institutionally accredited colleges and universities recognized by the US Dept. of Educationand those with military or career and work experience. 

How do I show my previous college, military, or work experience?

  • Official transcripts (if applicable) from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 should be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions.

    • Did you graduate from the University of Mary? Then we’ll get your Mary transcript for you!
    • At most other schools, you can request transcripts by going to the National Student Clearinghouse or by contacting the registrar’s office. 
      • Have your transcripts sent to:
        Office of Admissions
        University of Mary
        7500 University Drive
        Bismarck, ND 58504
      • Or request to send electronic transcripts to registrar@umary.edu.
  • Students with previous career or work experience can earn credits for prior learning.
    • You can choose to test for prior learning credits — we convert your test scores into college credit.
    • You can request a portfolio review for prior learning credits. You’ll assemble documentation to show your experience, which will be reviewed and evaluated by an experienced faculty member.
  • Military experience can count towards a degree.


  • All of our programs require you to fill out the general application form in addition to submitting the application fee and your transcripts.
  • Any program-specific requirements you’ll need to submit in addition to the items listed above can be found in our catalog.

At the University of Mary, we review every application on an individual basis, ensuring that the materials you submit are evaluated with care and attention. Reach out to us if you have any questions in filling out your application.

Get Started Today

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