Chaplain career questions are often directed my way by those exploring ministry outside the local church.
Educational requirements are the number one concern when it comes to chaplaincy with inquiries made as to just what is expected to become a chaplain.
The quick answer is that chaplain training begins with a bachelor's degree, followed by a masters and then CPE or Clinical Pastoral Education beyond the master degree program.
My chaplain career has been one of the most rewarding choices I have made in my ministry career.
I suppose that is why the question I am asked most focuses on How To Become A Chaplain, often posed to me by those considering a ministry career change.
Whether serving in a hospital setting or providing spiritual care to hospice patients,
being a health care chaplain has been the most rewarding of all my
I have heard the same from friends serving as military chaplains, whether it be Navy, Army, or Air Force.
Now that I have retired from active
chaplain employment, I see chaplaincy opportunities all around me,
especially through my internet ministry, as well as writing and publishing.
Yes, I confess that I am very passionate about chaplaincy. Like many chaplains, I view my career change as one of the most fulfilling ministry choices I could have made.
I hear the same report from those who have chosen a military chaplain career or a career as a business and industry chaplain.
In my personal career journey I have served in various ministry careers:
The above list of ministry assignments reveals my transition from serving as a local church pastor to a chaplaincy career.
For some the transition does not take as long as it did for me before becoming a board certified chaplain. Yet for those professionally certified as health care chaplains and for those whose ministry is in the military, the basic educational requirements are the same.
Some who have written me about becoming a chaplain have been frustrated that there are educational requirements to be met for professional certification and chaplaincy employment.
For me, having a master's degree in theology and meeting the requirement for clinical training made it easier to relate the various health care providers I worked with, most of whom had also had to meet demanding educational standards in their specific discipline.
I have met very few people angry that they had pursued higher education but have met quite a few without college degrees who voice their frustration about not having pursued the education needed for professional careers.