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Healthcare Chaplaincy Overview

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Includes Healthcare Chaplaincy Requirements

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Healthcare Chaplaincy Overview

When lives are in the balance and uncertainty overcomes a person, a kind word, gentle touch or whispered prayer can soothe a soul and bring peace. During such moments health care chaplains are at their best. In hospitals, hospices, mental health hospitals and nursing homes, chaplains minister to patients, their families and medical staff through unconditional love, sacrifice and service.

A chaplain may notify family members when a loved one has died. At other times chaplains comfort dying patients, conduct funerals, serve communion, perform memorial services and act as a mediator between medical staff and families. Chaplains also have administrative duties, but their main role is to be an effective witness for Christ.

Health care chaplains must have exceptional people skills, be able to quickly connect with strangers, be self-motivated and able to maintain their spiritual integrity in an often stressful and emotionally draining secular environment.

Chaplains must also be sensitive and respect other people’s faith traditions. In many cases, a chaplain must work with clergy of other faith groups to minister to an individual.

Among other requirements, most health care positions require a master of divinity degree from an accredited seminary.

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Healthcare Chaplaincy Requirements

For Chaplaincy Applicants

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

DILN Dayspring Counselor 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.

Healthcare Chaplaincy Requirements

The role and functions of healthcare chaplains are diverse and include a variety of ministry settings. For example, chaplains may serve as vital members of interdisciplinary healthcare teams in hospitals, mental health institutions, hospices, nursing homes, or facilities for the severely disabled. They offer critically needed spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families who are facing the most difficult times in their lives. Serving as a bridge between patients, families and medical staff, chaplains provide counsel on the religious implications of a variety of healthcare options, including end of life issues and organ donation.

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. Dayspring Chaplains (DILN) has 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 Diocese
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Approval by Endorser
  • Interview with the DILN Dayspring 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 Diocese
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Approval by Endorser
  • Interview with the DILN Board or Individual

BASIC CHAPLAINCY ENDORSEMENT

  • Diocese or Conference level credentials
  • Ministry experience
  • Education as required by hiring agency
  • References including one from their Diocese
  • Background check
  • Credit check
  • Personal interview with a representative of the Department
  • Approval given by endorser
  • Ratification by DILN Dayspring Chaplains

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Hospital Chaplaincy

The Chaplaincy Department encourages applicants seeking endorsement as hospital chaplains to meet the criteria outlined by the Dayspring Chaplains (see Frequently Asked Questions). Within the professional field, the following qualifications are desired for hospital chaplains. However, it is understood that all hospitals do not require their chaplains to meet these qualifications.

  • A Master of Divinity degree or the equivalent (72 hours) from an accredited seminary or school of theology.
  • Ordained by the Evangelical Christian Church Worldwide.
  • Two years of pastoral ministry with experience in conducting: baptisms, communion services, weddings, funerals, and death notifications.
  • Willingness to provide and coordinate programs for individuals of all faiths.
  • Pass physical examination required by the hiring institution.
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) four units/1600 hours, accredited by the American Association of Christian Therapists.
  • Make application to the Dayspring Chaplaincy Department 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 Board or Chaplaincy Representative, depending on Endorsement Level.

Hospice

The Chaplaincy Department recognizes that there are no universal qualifications for hospice chaplains, therefore, the Department requires that applicants for endorsement meet the qualifications of the hiring institutions. Within the professional field, the following qualifications are desired for hospice chaplains.

  • A Bachelors degree.
  • Credentialed with 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.
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) one unit/400 hours, accredited by the American Association of Christian Therapists.
  • Make application to the Dayspring Chaplaincy Department 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 Board or Chaplaincy Representative, depending on Endorsement Level.

Nursing Home

The Chaplaincy Department recognizes that there are no universal qualifications for nursing home chaplains, therefore, the Department requires that applicants for endorsement meet the qualifications of the hiring institutions. Within the professional field, the following qualifications are desired for nursing home chaplains.

  • A Bachelors degree.
  • Credentialed with 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.
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) one unit/400 hours, accredited by the American Association of Christian Therapists.
  • Make application to the Dayspring Chaplaincy Department 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 Board or Chaplaincy Representative, depending on Endorsement Level.

Counseling

Generally speaking, endorsement is not required for counselors except for those certified by AAPC. However, for those counselors seeking endorsement the following qualifications apply:

  • Professional Education in Counseling: Graduate degree and/or certification by AAPC.
  • Credentialed with the Evangelical Christian Church Worldwide.
  • Professional License as required by the state in which the applicant practices counseling. Membership in a professional organization preferred. Counseling Experience: Advanced Level – 500 hours per year for three consecutive years; Specialized Level – 500 hours for one year.
  • Make application to the Dayspring Chaplaincy Department 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 Board or Chaplaincy Representative, depending on Endorsement Level.

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