For Chaplaincy Training

At, individuals who are interested in a career in chaplaincy can enroll in our valuable CPE courses to get the hands-on training they need, which can be used to fulfill a requirement to become a Credentialed or Board Certified Chaplain.

What Is a Professional Health Care Chaplain?

Anyone diagnosed with a serious illness or living with a chronic illness and physical pain may be facing both stress and distress that can be not only physical but emotional and spiritual.

Professional, board certified chaplains are the spiritual care specialists on the health care team as doctors and nurses focus on caring for the body.

Professional chaplains do not provide definitive answers to questions and issues of spiritual distress. Instead, they help people in spiritual distress to identify and draw upon their sources of spiritual strength – regardless of religion or beliefs. As one very experienced professional chaplain puts it:

“Our most fundamental human condition is that we come face to face with our own mortality. As chaplains, we walk into some dark places and help bring in light. We’re not afraid of their darkness. We’re not afraid of their fear. We don’t care who a person is or who you’ve been. We want to be with you where you are.

“We try to find common ground and a common language, speaking about hope, love, faith, relationships, family, and regrets. Our goal is not to get you from one point to the other. Our goal is to help you identify where you want to go.”

Professional chaplains will accept without judgment the beliefs, faith and practice of the person in pain, as well as the person’s doubts and misgivings.

A health care chaplain becomes board certified by one of the professional associations by meeting its requirements for certification. To see the Spiritual Care Association’s requirements, click here.

Some professional chaplains are also ordained clergy or recognized religious/spiritual leaders depending on their tradition; some are not.

While local clergy and religious leaders who volunteer to see patients in hospitals usually serve only patients of their own religious faith, professional health care chaplains seek to care for everyone – whoever you are and whatever you believe.

Additionally, at, our units utilize Interactive Distance Learning courses from the Spiritual Care Association’s Online Learning Center. These courses are used as part of the educational training for future chaplains. Students will complete two of these courses during a unit, at no extra charge, adding valuable breadth and depth to their learning.

Here are a sampling of courses that address the needs of chaplains and those interested in career in chaplaincy:

  • Talking About What Matters: Advanced Directives and Planning
  • What to Do With Information: HIPAA and Confidentiality
  • Walking Through the Maze: Pain Management
  • Caring for the Smallest: Pediatrics
  • The Challenge of Memory: Alzheimer’s and other Dementias
  • Far Too Soon: The Anguish of Perinatal Loss
  • More Than Listening: Counseling Skills for Chaplains
  • It Takes Everyone: Teamwork and Collaboration
  • What We Hear and Say: Spiritual Assessments and Documentation
  • Values, Obligations and Rights: Health Care Ethics
  • Caring for All: Cultural Competence, Inclusion and Vulnerable Populations
  • When It’s Time to Say Goodbye: End of Life and Palliative Care
  • When Care Is Tough: Supporting the Interdisciplinary Team
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