What are the requirements for becoming a Chaplain?

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I have been inquiring about becoming a Chaplin through my local church, BCRC (Bradenton Christian Reformed Church). I am a member of a local motorcycle club who is in need of a club Chaplin. I feel this would be an incredible opportunity to minister to a fairly large group of folks who are for the most part un-churched. I haven’t so far be given any real direction or answers as far as the what and how’s are concerned. Is there anyone here who can help me find the right path or give me some information?

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fpackwook,

I am responding from the Chaplaincy and Care office of the CRC. I certainly would encourage your interest in serving this motorcylce club. If you have some church leadership or pastoral care training (or just have a heart for serving people) this group will probably welcome you as a chaplain. 

As far as official denominational endorsement as a chaplain, you would have to be ordained, then complete at least two units of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education). If you want to pursue that, please contact me at 616-224-0733 or rklimp@crcna.org

Ron Klimp

Ron,

Thanx so much for your response; I would be interested in pursuing this more, please let me know what I must do to get started. My church has started a discipleship class to help persons like myself get started however I would like to try to accelerate the process if at all possible.

fpackwood,

I'll throw in a comment or two here:  In my task at the denominational candidacy committee office I end up giving direction to many regarding the office of Ministry Associate.  This is the office through which you would most likely be ordained to be a chaplain for the motorcycle club. 

In order to be ordained in this office, you church will have to both recognize and have a sense of ownership of this work as "ministry" -- effectively you will be asking them to "send you in the name of Christ and His church" to care for and reach out to the members of this club.

I can tell you of some ministry experience I have had with members who are "chaplains" in clubs:  In one case, the local baseball team booster had a "chaplain" -- the function seemed to be not much more than opening the meetings with prayer.  In another case, the local VFW hall had a chaplain,  and this person also opened meetings in prayer,  He also did a lot of hospital visits, met with families during illness of a member, even helped plan the funerals of  members.  Now, in my personal view, the first person as chaplain was simply a member/officer of a club, and the second person was doing "ordainable ministry" -- that is, the second person was doing an extension of the work a pastor would do, and pastors can't be everywhere....  This later rationale is  the idea of the broader use of "Ministry Associates." 

The truth here is that what I personally think is not so relevant -- it is in the body of a community of faith that recognition of what tasks are "ordainable ministry" is made.  So, it seems to be, one good next step would be to talk to your pastor and/or a couple of the elders to discuss your vision, even your sense of "calling", and see what sort of reaction you get.   You can feel free to refer any of them to me, or you can call me yourself to discuss this further. 

For you information you will find material on ministry associate ordination on a document on line on the candidacy committee web page:  Go to www.crcna.org/candidacy and look for the information dealing with ministry associates.

Blessings to you as you look into this matter and listen to God's prompting!

David Koll

Director of Candidacy for the CRC

dkoll@crcna.org; ph. 877-279-9994 ext. 2779

 

 

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