If you are reading this article because you want to learn how to become a chaplain, you most likely have a deep connection with the Christian faith, and feel a pull toward spreading this Christian ethic to your community.
How to Become a Chaplain
Chaplains are found in a wide range of locations, including prisons, hospitals and community centers, in order to reach out to specific groups of people and give them pastoral care.
There are several steps involved for those considering how to become a chaplain. Although these steps will vary with the direction you choose, they can be used as a guideline to make sure you will be best prepared for your profession.
The educational background of a chaplain is focused on religion. The amount of religious education required for different types of chaplains will vary, but you can generally assume that either a Bachelor Degree or higher will be required, or previous experience working within a similar setting.
Liberty University offers several online Theology, Religious, Counseling, and Chaplain Degrees. This university is one of the major resources that individuals turn to when considering the question of how to become a chaplain. Because of their status as a respected, accredited university that produces quality graduates, a degree from Liberty University will make a student stand out.
Once you have obtained your religious training, you must be able to open your mind to other religions. Because you will be offering help, advice and guidance to a diverse set of individuals, you must be aware of other beliefs and respect their boundaries.
The best chaplains are able to lead services that inspire and move their congregation. For those wondering how to become a chaplain, this aspect is usually the most well-known. A chaplain must be able to set a schedule and maintain it on a consistent basis, and provide confession, communion, prayers and other needs.
Ethics and Integrity
In order to maintain the balance between the spiritual world and this world, a chaplain must be trustworthy to his or her congregation. Although there are some things that a chaplain is required, by law, to report, most of the time the conversations between a chaplain and an individual stay between the two of them and God.
A chaplain must be available at all hours, at all times. This may appear a bit demanding, but the rewards are well worth it. Individuals experience crisis points that do not conform to a schedule, and a chaplain should be prepared to be there to offer support whenever it is needed.
Related to the availability of a chaplain is the ability to handle stress. The job of offering advice and guidance to others experiencing a difficult spiritual situation can be draining. This is the main point that those contemplating how to become a chaplain should remember – although the stress of the job is high, the ability to heal spiritual wounds and give people internal strength is a worthy cause.