The Chaplains Commission of the North American Mission Board endorses chaplains to the following categories: community services, corporate, corrections, disaster relief, healthcare, military and public safety. Chaplains may have more than one endorsement.
Why Become an SBC Chaplain?
Most employing institutions require an ecclesiastical endorsement as a condition of employment. An endorsement by the SBC affirms that the individual is a minister in good standing with Southern Baptists. Some organizations may not require an endorsement, but the individual serving as a chaplain may request an endorsement. Even though the endorsement is not required, it communicates to the employer that the SBC recognizes the individual as a minister and chaplain. The endorsement also establishes a relationship with the SBC Chaplaincy Team. It is the goal of the Chaplaincy Team to maintain a pastoral relationship with all endorsed chaplains. This is done through chaplaincy training events, phone calls, personal correspondence, social media and by SBC endorser visits to chaplains at their places of work.
Most chaplains seek ecclesiastical endorsement primarily because it is required by most using agencies. However, there are many other reasons and benefits to seek endorsement:
- Application process helps clarify one’s calling to chaplaincy ministry
- Tangible affirmation of your chaplaincy calling by 16 million SBC members and more than 45,000 SBC churches
- Offers a support network with other SBC chaplains
- Provides regional professional development training for chaplains each year
- Pastoral care through our Chaplain Ambassador program
- Prayer support from the SBC Chaplaincy Team, NAMB and Southern Baptists
- Field guidance as needed on current issues chaplains are facing in their ministry setting
SBC Endorsement Process
Endorsement typically takes two months and includes an application, assessment and commissioning.
SBC Endorsement Requirements
Chaplaincy occurs in a wide variety of specialized settings. Presently, the Chaplains Commission of the North American Mission Board endorses chaplains to the following categories: community services, corporate, disaster relief, healthcare, institutional, military, pastoral counselors and public safety.
When employing vocational or volunteer chaplains, each institutional agency and organization sets specific requirements for their hiring criteria. In addition, the Southern Baptist Convention has its own denominational requirements for endorsing chaplains.
Requirements by Chaplaincy Category
Each Chaplaincy category has specific qualifications required, which can be found on the Chaplain Category page. See Chaplain Categories
Periodically, the using agency will ask that the chaplain receive an updated endorsement. It is the responsibility of the chaplain to initiate the process for updating an endorsement. A chaplain should contact the Chaplaincy Team to request an endorsement update when their status or ministry location changes. Also, endorsement update requests can be made through the chaplain’s portal (mynamb.net). Chaplains are allowed to have more than one endorsement.
Chaplains can request an update by contacting the Chaplaincy Team or through their chaplain portal at mynamb.net. Once initiated, the chaplain will need to complete an Endorsement Update Application and submit appropriate supporting documents. When a chaplain requests an update to a vocational endorsement from a volunteer endorsement, the basic requirements/guidelines for that chaplaincy category and status applies. At least four weeks should be allowed for the update endorsement process to be completed.
2023 Chaplains Commission Dates
|Chaplains Commission Meeting||Deadline for Document Submission|
|February 7, 2023||January 5, 2023|
|May 2, 2023||April 3, 2023|
|July 25, 2023||June 23, 2023|
|October 3, 2023||September 1, 2023|
|December 12, 2023||November 6, 2023|