Healthcare Chaplaincy

Healthcare Chaplaincy

Healthcare chaplains are persons called by God and trained to serve in an environment of sickness, pain, birth and death.

The term "holistic medicine" means treating people as total beings: mind, body and spirit. Total patient care provides for a person's spiritual as well as physical and mental needs. Chaplaincy programs that provide pastoral care are essential services in total patient care.

Healthcare chaplain ministries may include:

  • caring for patients and their families in bedside visits
  • care and counsel with healthcare staff
  • contributing as a member of a healthcare team
  • conducting workshops for hospital staff and/or local pastors
  • referring patients to local churches and community services

Healthcare chaplains serve in all types of healthcare facilities:

  • VA medical centers
  • hospice organizations
  • mental health centers
  • facilities for those who are mentally handicapped
  • facilities for special illnesses
  • children's hospitals
  • retirement centers and nursing home facilities
  • Some hospitals are denominationally related while others are private, public, or governmental. Some healthcare chaplains serve through support by state conventions, an association or another group concerned with providing a religious ministry. Programs of hospital ministry include full-time or part-time employment and volunteer opportunities.

Basic Qualifications/Requirements for SBC Endorsement:

A using agency or professional association establish the criteria for hiring/accepting a chaplain. The Chaplain's Commission endorses the chaplain to the using agency or professional association.