Requirements for Military Specialty Certification

The applicant for the BCC-MC certification must demonstrate the advanced practice of a supervising military chaplain beyond the Board Certified Chaplain level. The Application Guidelines offer detailed guidance on meeting the advanced practice criterion and the other requirements of specialty certification. The applicant must:

  1. Be a BCCI Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) for at least one year before applying for specialty certification.
  2. Be a member of the Military Chaplains Association in good standing.
  3. Complete and document a minimum of three (3) years of full-time experience as a military chaplain. (With the first two (2) years of experience possibly having occurred  before being granted BCC level certification)
    1. For military Reserve Component and National Guard chaplains, document successful service in an authorized billet for three years or more providing supervision of chaplains, other military personnel, and/or volunteer staff.
  4. Submit (3) recommendation letters: one from a military chaplain supervisor (that includes verification that the military experience requirements have been met); one from a (non- chaplain) 04 and above military officer who has served or is serving with the applicant; and one from the applicant’s endorser.
    1. Don’t underestimate the value of in-depth, case-oriented recommendations that clearly demonstrate the applicant’s contributions to the military member(s), family member(s) and/or the military as an institution.
  5. Write a two-to-three-page description of the applicant’s professional progression from a BCC as a point-of-service military chaplain to military and family members to a BCC-MC specialty applicant with supervisory experience. (The applicant may also have been given a change of assignment notice that will require the chaplain to be a supervisor. If so, write this section for what will be the expected progression from BCC to BCC-MC)
    1. Supervision responsibilities means supervision of other chaplains and enlisted personnel, contracted employees or chapel volunteers as well as any mix of these categories.
    2. What is expected here is not a résumé, but a description of the occupational and vocational progression of an applicant toward an advanced, specialized practice in military chaplaincy that includes supervisory responsibilities.
  6. Submit a major essay of 10-12 pages, incorporating all of the Military Chaplaincy specialty competencies.
    1. This major essay has three required components, which may be woven into a single document or may be submitted as three separate documents. In either instance the essay is to total no more than 10-12 pages for all three components.
    2. The following three components must be included in the major essay:
      1. Theory and practice of chaplaincy care in the military. 
      2. A Case Presentation that is comprehensive in scope of care, addressing but not limited to:
        1. An evolving, comprehensive spiritual plan of advanced care to: military member(s), military family members, or a combination case of both.
        2. Progression of spiritual practice over the case.
        3. Integration of chaplaincy care to enhance other military disciplines in providing holistic service to the military members/families.
        4. An integrated case management team approach to the care of the military member/family.
      3. Written demonstration of participation in a quality improvement process that enhances the delivery of chaplaincy care in the military.
  7. Submit an actual PowerPoint presentation with an accompanying script of 25 – 35 slides.
    1. Choose one of the following options for the PowerPoint:
      1. External to the military: The presentation should be an original presentation, created by the applicant in collaboration with a non-chaplain military colleague for the purpose of educating a civilian faith community concerning chaplaincy care in the military.
        1. This may be prepared for the applicant’s own faith community, another faith community or a multi-faith community.
      2. Internal to the military:  The presentation should be an original presentation, created by the applicant in collaboration with a chaplain military colleague from other than the applicant’s faith community for the purpose of educating military non-chaplain communities or staffs concerning chaplaincy care in the military.
        1. This may be prepared for the applicant’s immediate command or higher.
    2. The presentation should reflect the advanced practice of a specialty applicant, beyond the BCC level. It should demonstrate the competency progression from a BCC (company grade) level chaplain to that of a BCC-MC (field grade) chaplain.
    3. A presentation prepared for orientation of new staff/volunteers does not meet the advanced practice criterion or educational intent of this presentation.
  8. List military, chaplaincy and counseling continuing education hours completed over the most current past one-to-three years post BCC.
    1. A minimum of 50 hours of continuing education should be demonstrated.
    2. It is strongly recommended that the continuing education be helpful to the applicant in demonstrating advanced practice in military chaplaincy.
    3. You may use the last three years of the APC Annual Summary of Continuing Education Hours as long as these hours correlate to the advanced practice of military chaplaincy care.
    4. Formal Officer Professional Military Education and Military Chaplain Professional Education would be good to include here regardless of the year in which the applicant attended the school.
      1. For example, Squadron Officer School, Command and Staff School, and/or War College; Basic, Middle-Manager and/or Advanced Chaplain schools.
      2. Residence, seminar or self-paced military education can all be included.
  9. Upon the completion of numbers 1-8 above, a conference call will be conducted with an APC committee for a certification interview that will be about one hour in length.
    1. The interview is conducted by phone or video conferencing methods and will be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the applicant and committee members.
    2. The committee will include at least three chaplains already designated as BCC-MC (the committee may also include experienced BCC 05 and above military chaplains until there are enough BCC-MCs for a full committee) and an active/reserve/retired military commander.
    3. Every effort will be made to include at least some committee members from the applicant’s military component and branch.