Chaplaincy A Common Understanding

Chaplaincy is simple, the showing of God's love to all people. The demonstration of this practical "show of love" may take many forms. In a hospital, it may be assisting with a "do not recessitate" directive, or guiding a patient faced with their mortality in a discussion of the hereafter. Specific skills would include ministering to the non-churched in a fashion that would move them in the direction of a closer awareness of God and a relationship with Christ. For a biker chaplain, it may be ministering to a downed biker or a family member of a downed biker. Working with families and individuals "at risk" is a regular activity.

Chaplaincy is like a Pastoral ministry: in that Chaplains may be called to preach and teach. Chaplains clearly have a body life ministry i.e. minister to the sick and hurting. However, a Chaplain's flock consists of a mixed bag of beliefs and religions. Part of a chaplains calling is working with respect and sensitivity with people of varying faiths. The chaplains flock is a slice of society in a workplace, recreational or social setting. Just as pastors, chaplains may attend seminary and receive specific university degreed training, or, can serve as a volunteer, in a seminary optional role. Chaplaincy is not like a Pastoral ministry: in that Chaplains generally have no "spiritual oversight" responsibilities. A Pastor of a local church may or may not choose to participate in a chaplaincy ministry, as chaplaincy may involve a focus of activity sometimes outside of local church interests. Pastors who choose a role in chaplaincy, and have not taken specific seminary chaplaincy training, may choose to take additional chaplaincy training just as any other volunteer would.

One becomes a Chaplain when one is "recognized" and is serving the needs of a group of individuals. Groups that may recognize a Chaplain's role include:

Ministries, clubs, business organizations, associations, hospitals and health care organizations, various retirement homes/communities, municipalities, law enforcement, restorative justice facilities and so forth.

Terms that routinely come up in conversation are:

Certified Chaplain- This is a professional designation, indicating a seminary degree and specific chaplaincy internship following a seminary degree plan.

Endorsed Chaplain- Both professional and volunteer chaplains may be, and are generally endorsed by a sending agency. These sending agencies would include but are not limited to denominations such as: Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, Methodist or Presbyterian. Further there are Associations and Conferences that endorse Chaplains. These organizations include groupsĀ  the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Endorsement indicates a large recognized organization stands with the chaplain and "endorses" his or her ministry. Additionally, endorsements indicate the Chaplain or chaplain volunteer has completed some sort of training and has met certain requirements and standards of service.

Licensed Chaplain- a chaplain (either a full time professional or volunteer), who is not already a Pastor, may choose to be licensed by a local church or denomination. This allows for participation in marriage and funeral services. Also, some churches require licensing of those who provide pulpit supply (preaching services).

Licensing vs. ordination- for many denominations this is the same thing. Some churches will ordain full time servants, and license volunteers or bi-vocational servants. provides professional training and a support community for people called to chaplaincy service. We provide training that includes but is not limited to the following topics:

Families at risk,Ministering to the terminally ill, Individuals at risk, Individuals and families in crisis, Loss of life, Illness, Death notification,Trauma, Intervention, Hospital situations does: provide training based on standards and requirements. (Requirements for endorsement are subjective). patches indicate course completion and association support. does not: License, Certify or issue "Chaplain" designation rockers (this is the role of the group served to designate and recognize a chaplain).

When you see your next Chaplains rocker at an event, offer your prayer support to this brother or sister. They are your fellow workers in Christ's service.


Biker Chaplain Standards