Becoming Certified

The BCCI certification program is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance and designate professional chaplains who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of chaplaincy care.
Chaplains are certified as board certified chaplains (BCC) or associate certified chaplains (ACC) according to established national qualifications, including a code of ethics.

Please note: As of June 30, 2023, all applications for Board Certification must be submitted through the new online portal. If you have started filling out the paper forms, you will need to transfer the information to the online portal.

Please refer to the “How to Complete the Online Application” section for instructions on using the new online application portal.

Process for first-time applicants

  • The candidate submits an application through the online portal.
  • The application is reviewed for completeness.
  • The candidate is notified within 30 days whether or not the application is complete and that he/she is eligible for an interview.
  • If the candidate submits an equivalency request with his/her application materials then the application is considered incomplete.
    • The equivalency review time may take up to 180 days.
    • Once the equivalency is granted, the candidate is notified and is eligible for an interview.
  • The candidate is given a list of dates and locations where he or she may be interviewed.
    • Please see our upcoming application deadlines for interviews. The candidate may choose to be interviewed at the APC annual conference or through one of two virtual interview periods each year.
    • NOTE: Candidates wishing to schedule certification interviews during the annual conference are advised to submit complete applications as soon as possible, as a limited number of spots are available and will be filled on a first-come first-served basis.
  • After the interview, the candidate is notified of the committee’s recommendation.
  • The committee’s recommendation is reviewed by the Commission on Certification and forwarded to the board of directors for ratification.
  • Upon board ratification, the candidate is granted the recommended status by BCCI and receives official documentation by mail.
  • The candidate is invited to receive formal recognition of his or her achievement at the next APC annual conference.
  • Once certified by BCCI, chaplains must fulfill annual and quinquennial maintenance of certification requirements to retain their credential.

Mentor Program

A certification mentoring program is available to all applicants.

Important Notes

  • The application process is conducted year-round.
  • Candidates who need to apply for a subsequent appearance must comply with the deadlines noted in the letter they receive following their most recent committee appearance.
  • Before submitting your application, please check this website to ensure you are using the most current forms and information.
  • There is no specific preparatory or certificate course or seminar required for any type of certification through BCCI. For educational and other requirements, please refer to the certification qualifications and requirements.