A Chaplain should complete some annual training and make the
commitment to serve his or her community whenever or wherever he/she is called.
Being a Chaplain is transformative soul work as it deepens others
spiritual path through prayer and service.
Hospital, hospice, Emergency Response, military chaplains, should already
be ordained, or are willing to become ordained. Ideally a chaplain canidate
should either seek to or be Certified by any nationally known organization
and should be experienced or willing to be trained to counsel people. Chaplains
are trained to go out and minister to the community-at-large
but are trained to help meet the pastoral care needs within your own local
community as requested. Ideally they should serve as an extension of a local
ministry making personal connections with local congregations.
So what Training and Education Is Required to Become
Chaplains can be found in many environments, including hospitals and military
bases. The training and education to become a chaplain might vary based on
the particular field prospective chaplains want to work in.
What is a Chaplains Role?
A chaplain provides religious or spiritual rites and services to those who
are unable to attend religious services. Additionally, a chaplain might offer
moral or emotional support and guidance. Chaplains are found in a number
of settings that aren't religious in nature, including military installations,
hospitals and prisons. While chaplains historically have been tied to the
Christian faith, it's not unusual for today's chaplains to be associated
with other religious and spiritual traditions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics
projects that 404,000 members of the clergy, including chaplains, worked
in the United States in 2006.
What about Chaplain Education?
Most chaplains hold a master's degree, however, educational requirements
vary depending on the type of work a chaplain chooses to pursue. For example,
Salary.com reports that chaplains involved in home care typically need a
bachelor's degree, while the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed
forces reports that military chaplains need master's degrees with a minimum
of 36 hours in theology and ministry. Aspiring chaplains who only have a
bachelor degree can consider becoming affiliate chaplains. Individuals
interesting in becoming chaplains should consider enrolling in a ministry
studies, divinity, theology or bible studies degree program. Aspiring chaplains
may be required to take clinical pastoral education or other specialized
What about Chaplain Training?
Salary.com states that a minimum of 2-4 years of religious leadership experience
might be required before finding a position as a chaplain. Requirements in
training and experience can vary depending on the particular field or institution
a chaplain chooses to work in. For instance, military chaplains are required
to go through basic training in the same way that a new recruit would.
Many believe that a good intention to be of Christian
service is sufficient to do a chaplains duty. I would argue that the scriptures
would point otherwise.
Earnestly seek to commend yourself to God as a servant
who, because of his straightforward dealing with the word of truth, has no
reason to feel any shame. - (2 Timothy 2:15 WNTestament)
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as
working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an
inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are
serving." (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be
self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus
Christ is revealed." (1 Peter 1:13 NIV)
"For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life a ransom for many." Jesus Christ (Mark
"Learn, rather, how to do good, setting your hearts
on justice, righting the wrong, protecting the orphan, giving the widow redress;
then come back, says the Lord, and make trial of me . . ." (Isaiah
Rarely does something powerfully effective happen by accident. Chances are
that someone, at sometime, put a lot of effort into planning and preparation.
. . the most important stage in the process. Athletes spend hours in the
gym fine-tuning their performance. Some churchgoers would be astounded if
they knew just how much time their pastor spent preparing for the Sunday
Do you see where I'm heading here?! Many of Gods workers ignore the "befores"
and "afters" in their ministry efforts, focusing almost all of their time
and energy on "the moment." There can be no real question that experience
and training is crucial.
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