Chaplain: Career Profile and Educational Requirements
Chaplains are trained to provide counseling and pastoral services to those needing spiritual or emotional support. A strong desire to help others and faith in one's chosen denomination are important attributes for this profession.
Career Profile of a Chaplain
Chaplains generally work in institutional settings like the military, hospitals, prisons and schools, either part time or full time. They may be commissioned laypersons but are usually members of the clergy who provide the kinds of services a clergyperson would ordinarily provide in a place of worship. These services can include worship, crisis counseling, weddings, funerals and last rites. Chaplains can work directly for an institution or receive compensation from their religious organization.
Educational Requirements of a Chaplain
According to O*Net OnLine, clergy members, including chaplains, are generally required to have a graduate degree (www.onetonline.org). Graduate programs are available in theology, divinity studies or religious studies. Theology majors may take courses in expository preaching, Old Testament language and soteriology. Divinity and religious studies majors often focus on certain fields, such as Asian religions, African religious studies and Judaic studies.
Additional Requirements to Become a Chaplain
Requirements for becoming a chaplain can also include an ecclesiastical endorsement by the candidate's particular faith organization and a certain amount of previous related work experience. Depending on where a chaplain ends up working, there may also be additional requirements related to the particular institution. The armed forces typically require their chaplains to be under a certain age and be able to pass a military physical exam and a security clearance.
Certification Information for a Chaplain
Certification may be required by some employers. Certain organizations certify chaplains in either general chaplaincy skills or specific skills related to certain institutions. The Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI) offers three levels of certification - board certified chaplain, provisional certified chaplain and associate certified chaplain. Each designation has differing levels of educational, experience and competency requirements a candidate must meet.
For more job-specific certification, the International Fellowship of Chaplains (IFOC) offers basic and advanced certifications. IFOC certification focuses on chaplains who provide services to emergency workers and law enforcement personnel.
Related to Chaplain: Career Profile and Educational Requirements
- Recently Updated
College can be a liberating yet confusing time for many students. This is true not only academically and socially, but...
Degree programs in chaplaincy are available online at the bachelor's and master's levels. Students are trained in the...
Counselors work in a variety of fields to give aid and direction to people in need of guidance. Whether the field is...
Unlike 2-year graduate programs in addictions counseling, doctoral programs related to addiction aren't designed to...
- Online Chaplain Training Programs
- Become an Army Chaplain: Step-by-Step Career Guide
- Hospital Chaplain: Job Description and Education Requirements
- Top School for Earning a Degree in Information Technology - Fort Wayne, IN
- Top University for Becoming a Teacher - Jacksonville, FL
- Top Ranked School for Operations Management Degrees - Jacksonville, FL
- List of Free Online Legal Courses and Classes