Membership & Ordination Requirements

All of our members are ordained chaplains and have legal recognition outside the church as members of the Clergy. Requirements for ordination are described below. Credentialing beyond "Basic Ordained Chaplain" has additional requirements, education, and expectations as described. 


We partner with ICPT.EDU for Clinical Pastoral Education. See our CPE section on the website by clicking here. 


We partner with The Association of Certified Christian Chaplains for Board Certification. 

Basic ordained chaplain

Our Chaplains are ordained clergy, a religious ministry professional. To qualify you must meet each of the following requirements. For vocational endorsement you must meet education and credential requirements:

  • Must be a member in good standing of an Evangelical Christian Church. Short term exceptions can be made for those in transition between churches. 
  • Must be recommended by your pastor.
  • Must be recommended by a personal reference who has known you at least 3 years.
  • Must submit to a background check.
  • Must agree completely with our Statement of Faith.
  • Must agree with our Vision and Mission.
  • Must complete “The Basics of Chaplaincy” at The Chaplains Academy
  • Must pass an interview with our Executive Director.
  • Must sign and adhere to our Code of Conduct and Ethics.
  • Must have a high school diploma or higher.
  • Must obtain 20 hours of continuing education annually.
  • Every three years you must:
         a. Submit to a new background check.
         b. Verify continued membership in an Evangelical Christian Church.
         c. Verify adherence to our Code of Conduct and Ethics.
         d. Verify you have met the continuing education requirements.


Violation of the Code of Conduct can result in disciplinary action including termination of your credential. 

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATIONS

For those who wish to grow in their education, knowledge, craft of chaplaincy, and receive professional credentials we offer several opportunities depending on your education and level of experience. Click each of the following to learn more about the credential. 

  • A Certified Chaplain Assistant is one credentialed to provide staff support to a professional chaplain. These are similar to a Paralegal in a lawyer office or an assistant teacher in a university. You help the Chaplain while also providing spiritual care to those around you. In addition to the basic requirements listed above, you must also have the following:

    • High School Diploma (or GED) plus at least some college experience
    • Complete four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

  • A Board Certified Associate Chaplain is one who has achieved a higher level of education and experience. For many situations, this is an adequate credential for being hired in as a Chaplain. In many States, this credential will be sufficient to work as a Hospice Chaplain, especially if you have pastoral care experience. Some facilities would be happy to hire a BCAC to be one of their Chaplains on staff. In addition to the basic requirements listed above, you must also have the following:

    • A Bachelors Degree from an accredited school (Preferably in ministry or theology but experience can make up for that)
    • Complete four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
    • Must be approved for the BCAC credential
    • Must agree to obtain 40 hours per year of continuing education (CE)

  • A Board Endorsed Clinical Chaplain is a relatively new credential to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. Because the Veterans Administration for VA Hospital Chaplains have instituted higher requirements for Board Certified Chaplain, this credential qualifies most Chaplains to serve in clinical settings other than a VA Hospital. In addition to the basic requirements listed above, you must also have the following:

    • Masters Degree in Divinity or graduate level in Theology from an accredited school
    • Must complete four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
    • Must be approved for the BECC credential
    • Must complete 50 hours per year of continuing education (CE)

  • A Board Certified Chaplain is fully qualified to work in any clinical setting including VA Hospitals, as long as they have the proper endorsement. Our ministry is an approved endorsing agency for the Veterans Administration.  In addition to the basic requirements listed above, you must also have the following:

    • Must have a Masters in Divinity or higher from an accredited school
    • Must have all four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
    • Must be approved as Board Certified Chaplain
    • Must have a minimum of three years ministerial experience after your Masters degree is earned
    • Must complete 50 hours per year of continuing education (CE)
    • Must maintain your endorsement in good standing

  • A Clinical Pastoral Education Supervisor is qualified to teach Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). We are always looking for qualified individuals who may be a good addition to our teaching team. In addition to the basic requirements listed above, you must also have the following:

    • Must have a Masters Degree in Divinity, Theology, Ministry, or Counseling or higher
    • Must have a minimum of three years experience in pastoral care and chaplaincy
    • Must have all four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
    • Must have either Board Endorsed Clinical Chaplain (BECC) or Board Certified Chaplain (BCC)
    • Must complete the Supervisor in Training (SIT) Course and be approved as a CPES
    • Must obtain 50 hours per year of Continuing Education (CE)