How do I become a chaplain?

A chaplain is an individual who is ordained or endorsed by a faith group to provide chaplaincy care in diverse settings including, but not limited to, hospitals, corrections, long-term care, sports teams, palliative care, military, hospices, workplaces, mental health and universities.

Chaplaincy care is care provided by a board certified chaplain, associate certified chaplain or by a student in an accredited clinical pastoral education (CPE) program. Examples of such care include emotional, spiritual, religious, pastoral, ethical, and/or existential care. Chaplaincy care is grounded in initiating, developing and deepening, and bringing to an appropriate close, a mutual and empathic relationship with the patient/client, family, and/ or staff. The development of a genuine relationship is at the core of chaplaincy care and underpins, even enables, all the other dimensions of chaplaincy care to occur.

The Association of Professional Chaplains recommends that those considering a career in chaplaincy contact their faith group for information about their requirements for ministry as a chaplain.

For more information on what it means to be a professional chaplain, please visit the Chaplaincy Now! website.

Chaplain Certification

Chaplain certification by a nationally recognized chaplaincy certifying board is frequently a requirement for employment as a chaplain. APC’s affiliate, the Board of Chaplaincy Certification, Inc., offers several types of certification for chaplains.