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What is Chaplaincy

Chaplaincy is very specialized ministry where the minister serves not in a church or “Para-church” ministry, but in an institutional setting. The chaplain ministers not to a congregation alone, but to the public at- large. The people who make up this community may wear military uniforms, Hospital gowns, hard hats, badges, and inmate orange- glow jumpsuits. Like the Apostle Paul, chaplains are generally “tent-makers”: they usually have institutional administrative and staff jobs in addition to their ministries. But that is acceptable to chaplains, for serving in such “non- ministry” roles puts them in place where people- with needs who ordinarily would never darken the doors of a church (much less talk to a minister)- come to talk and interact with the chaplain. The chaplain is there to listen, care, and respond appropriately to the agenda of the client. Such is the ministry of chaplaincy.


Who is the Chaplain

The contemporary Chaplain is essentially a religious representative such as Priest, Rabbi, Imam or Ministers who is accredited and authorized by his or her faith body and assigned to serve primarily with the defense force, Hospital, Police, Schools, Universities, Churches and other institutions.

The organization to which Chaplains are assigned determine the chaplaincy model, whether it be ecumenical, multi-faith or of a specific faith.

It is believe that the word “chaplain” was derive from a fourth century legend that a pagan Roman soldier called martin of Tours encountered a beggar shivering from the cold and gave him part of his military cloak. That night he had a vision of Christ dressed in the cloak. As a result, Martin was converted to Christianity. He devoted his life to the church, and after his death was canonized. Martin of Tours later became a patron saint of France and his cloak, now a holy relic, was carried into battle by the Frankish kings. This cloak was called in Latin the “cappa”. Its potable shrine was called the “capella” and its caretaker priest, the “cappellanus”. Eventually, all clergy affiliated with military were called “cappellanus” French “chapelains”, hence chaplains.

There are a number of different types of chaplaincy. The following is a brief description of some of the more common chaplaincy and their requirements.

Military. Young people preparing for and going to war need pastoral care! There are active duty, Reserves, National Guard chaplain in the Army, Air Force, Marines and coast Guard. Requirement are a Bachelor‘s degree or any other relevant degrees, usually earned before the thirty-fifth birthday. The Air Force and Navy also sponsor (within there force), volunteer chaplaincy in the Civil Air Patrol and Sea cadet programs, respectively.

Healthcare. Veterans affaires and civilian hospitals, as well as hospices, hire professional chaplains. Who better to reach the hopeless, hurting, and dying of society than caring well- trained chaplains? To be a healthcare chaplain generally requires a Bachelors degree, and require year of clinical pastoral training in a healthcare context.

Correctional. God has seen to it that the felon has a chance to contemplate his/her crimes against society. Who better to reach out to the lost, hopeless, desperate, and forgotten of society with a message of deliverance, and hope than a dedicated chaplain? There are professional and volunteer opportunities in our nations Federal, state, and local facilities. It is said that corrections is presently the fastest growing industry in the world. Could the Lord be calling you to minister true freedom to do? Requirement varies according to the correctional facility; most require at least a Bachelors degree.

Workplace. Business industrial chaplaincy is a new and growing field.

Employees not distracted by marriage and family crises, alcohol, drugs, and other addictions, as well as myriad of personal and spiritual problems are safer, more productive employees. Studies indicate that for every money spent on workplace chaplaincy results in a saving for business due to absenteeism and treatment, etc. Specialize in the field of workplace chaplaincy include union, truck sport, airport, seaport, fire department, police department, custom department and college chaplaincies. Requirement for these chaplaincies vary considerable.

Educational. Public school chaplaincy is the only organization that equips clergy for ministry to students, faculty, and administrators in public schools. A quick glance of the top tragedies of the least several years makes the mandate for this new genre of pastoral care painfully clear. Requirements are appropriate specialized trained, criminal background check, and ecclesiastical endorsement.

Professional Counseling. While professional pastoral counseling is not chaplaincy, it is an endorsable ministry that desperately needs spirit –filled representation. Professional counselor hold state licensure (s) and /or secular certificate (s) as marriage and family therapists, alcohol and drug rehabilitation counselors, psychologists, etc. Requirement for professional counselors are generally a Bachelors degree, a graduate degree on psychology or counseling, and a number of hours in a supervised counseling practicum. While these requisites may seem “stiff” those who has lost their way, as well as the people of faith who may need a little extra help in life.

Church. Today it has been proven that the growing churches needs freelance chaplains to come and effect growth and educate them on soul evangelism and humanitarian services, this prompted the rapid development of chaplains in the churches. The requirements for church chaplaincy are a Bachelors degree and or Bachelor of Ministry or Missions.

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