About Chaplains

Chaplains are called by God for a specific ministry.

Chaplains are called to minister to people where they are especially outside the normal confines of a temple, synagogue or church. Chaplains are religious representatives that have their history going back for thousands of years. Chaplains can be found in almost every aspect of life and work.

Chaplains traditionally opened the Congress each day with prayer. There are corporate chaplains, workplace chaplains, sports chaplains, military chaplains, hospital and hospice chaplains, chaplains to go into nursing homes and facilities and chaplains that provide relief to the needs of people doing major disasters and crisis.

Chaplains of many faiths work with a diverse population, counseling patients undergoing surgical procedures, facing end-of-life issues or involved in traumatic accidents. They also offer comfort and support to patients’ families. They may be called on by hospital staff to calm angry or emotionally distraught friends and family members of patients. Chaplains may conduct religious services in the hospital chapel, including officiating at memorial services and weddings. In some cases, a hospital chaplain will provide spiritual support to fellow staff members and care providers.

Hospitals typically seek chaplaincy candidates with a demonstrated ability to work well within a team environment. The capacity to communicate respectfully across cultures and with persons of different faiths is a valued asset. Due to the sensitive nature of the work, chaplains are held to a high standard of ethical behavior, professionalism, and confidentiality.

The ability to work effectively in stressful situations while maintaining a calm demeanor is important. Hospital chaplains should also be able to work independently and be flexible when faced with multiple priorities. Candidates who demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and who are friendly, compassionate, and approachable may find the best job prospects. Prior experience in the armed forces as a chaplain or religious program specialist or experience in a religious ministry is also taken into consideration by employers.

Key characteristics of chaplaincy service:

1. Servanthood – To serve those that God places in our path, without respect to his or her religious affiliation or outward characteristics.
2. Humility – To serve these people with a spirit of humility, considering others better than ourselves.
3. Focus – To focus intently on serving others, as a way to worship our God, who has blessed us with the ability to serve Him by serving them.
4. Enthusiasm – To serve faithfully with rich enthusiasm, knowing that it is not for ourselves or truly for others that we serve, but we serve ultimately as unto the Lord.
5. Excellence – If we offer our lives up to others as chaplains, if we do so with the humility of a faithful servant, if we maintain the proper focus on the God we serve, our enthusiasm will not wane, and we will do so with excellence, as God’s Spirit gives us more and more opportunity to serve.