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Police & Fire Chaplaincy Overview

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Includes Police & Fire Chaplaincy Requirements

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Police & Fire Chaplaincy Overview

Law Enforcement (City/County/FBI)

Law enforcement officials encounter high levels of stress and danger. Each day they risk their lives to serve and protect others. Though these men and women often maintain a strong emotional front, behind the badges and tough veneers are spiritually hungry people who need Christ at the center of their lives. This is especially true when life gets tough or the difficulty and stress of the job become too much to bear. During such times most of these men and women will not turn to an outsider. Instead, they will seek out one of their own.

Sometimes one of their own is can be an Evangelical Christian Church chaplain who has ridden shotgun, counseled officers over cups of coffee during the night shift or has acted as a liaison between the department and the public. In other words, law enforcement officials turn to a friend they know and trust.

Through service, unconditional love and uncompromising faith chaplains earn the right to intervene in an official’s life during difficult times. Chaplains are pros when it comes to knowing when to listen and when to talk. They are able to speak into officials’ lives because they have spent countless hours with them.

On some days chaplains perform everyday functions by calming unruly prisoners, monitoring offenders on probation or speaking at public events. On other days a chaplain will serve a death notice to a victim’s family—sometimes the family is that of an officer. No matter what his or her duty on a given day, a chaplain becomes a dependable presence ready to serve and assist. Through sacrificial service a chaplain will free law enforcement officials to do what they do best: protect and serve. In doing so, lives are being transformed for eternity

Fire Department

Fire department chaplains wear many hats while ministering. Sometimes they act as a public relations officer, at other times they counsel firefighters and victims, and sometimes they notify families that a loved one has died.

But the chaplain’s main role is to be a spiritual leader in the firehouse. He does this by leading Bible studies, praying with and counseling those who confide in him and by doing whatever he is asked to do to help the firefighters get their job done.

To earn the trust and respect of the firefighters a chaplain must be committed to his ministry. Sometimes he will have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to assist the firefighters at an emergency call or just to counsel a firefighter who is struggling with a personal issue.
Whatever the situation, firefighter chaplains are ready and willing to answer the call.

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Police & Fire Chaplaincy Requirements

For Chaplaincy Applicants

Download application for ecclesiastical approval or endorsement in the following ministries:

Dayspring Chaplaincy Application

These forms (in PDF format) require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view, fill-in, and print the forms. Please sign and return completed forms, discussion materials, $45 application fee and a current professional quality photo (4x6 or 5x7). Remember to have official transcripts from all colleges and seminaries sent to us as well.


Police/Fire Chaplaincy Requirements

Chaplains serving with fire and police departments often work alongside the fire fighters and police officers they minister to in situations that threaten their own safety. These chaplains also minister to victims and families of those in trauma situations. Today, more than ever, these people need spiritual guidance, counseling for themselves and their families, and assistance coping with stressful occupations.


Ecclesiastical Endorsement

Ecclesiastical endorsement is the written acknowledgement by a faith group/denomination that an individual is in good standing and meets the qualifications for clergy credentials with their faith group/denomination. Generally speaking, major institutions, federal/state correctional systems, and healthcare facilities require that chaplains and pastoral counselors have the endorsement of their respective faith group/denomination. At the May 2004 meeting of the Commission on Chaplains adopted the following criteria for endorsement.

ADVANCED CHAPLAINCY ENDORSEMENT

  • Ordination
  • 2 years pastoral experience
  • MDIV (or its equivalent) with an institution accredited with Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
  • 4 Units of CPE preferred, amount determined by hiring agency
  • Active, full-time paid chaplaincy position
  • Eligible for certification with professional organization
  • References including one from their District
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Approval by Endorser
  • Interview with the Commission on Chaplains

STANDARD CHAPLAINCY ENDORSEMENT

  • Ordination
  • 2 years pastoral experience
  • Education as required by hiring agency
  • CPE as required by hiring agency
  • Be an active, paid chaplain working full or part time in a chaplaincy ministry.
  • References including one from their District
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Approval by Endorser
  • Interview with the Commission on Chaplains

BASIC CHAPLAINCY ENDORSEMENT

  • General Council or District level credentials
  • Ministry experience
  • Education as required by hiring agency
  • References including one from their District
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Personal interview with a representative of the Department
  • Approval given by endorser
  • Ratification by Commission on Chaplains


Police and Fire Chaplaincy

Police and fire department chaplains should generally meet the following requirements. However, it is understood that all police and fire departments do not require their chaplains to meet these qualifications.

Credentialed by the Evangelical Christian Church Worldwide.

Two years of ministry with experience in conducting: baptisms, communion services, weddings, funerals, and death notifications.     

Willingness to provide spiritual support for individuals of all faiths.

Make application to the Dayspring International Leadership Network, Chaplaincy Ministry for Endorsement. Level of endorsement is determined by the Chaplaincy Department and is based upon education, ministerial credentials, and employment status. (See Endorsement Levels.)

Interview with DILN Chaplaincy Ministry or Chaplaincy Representative, depending on Endorsement Level.


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