Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"How Can I Become a Chaplain?"

Q: What’s the difference between a chaplain and a minister or a priest
or a rabbi?

A: When someone works as minister in an institution (hospital, rescue mission, university, prison) they are called a “chaplain.” What makes a hospital chaplain different from a church pastor or rabbi is their focus of their ministry and their training.

Hospital chaplains are focused and trained on helping a wide variety of people, from different faith groups get their spiritual needs met while they are dealing with illness in their lives. Their role is NOT to teach, preach or covert people, but be able to listen, support, pray and provide direction to people looking for strength and meaning.

Chaplains are also trained in a specialized way to help them better work in and with people in hospitals. Most Hospital and Prisons require their chaplains to be “certified” through one of three different professional chaplaincy organizations. To be certified as a chaplain a person must have… (ACPE and ACCA)

• Four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (1600 supervised hours of bedside chaplaincy training).
• Masters degree in Divinity, Theology, Ministry or equivalent.
• One year of full time hospital chaplaincy experience.
• Endorsement and/or be ordained by their faith community.

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