How to Become a Chaplain
Chaplains make a world of difference in the lives of those who are facing some of their toughest moments. From losing your house to a natural disaster to hearing the news of a loved one’s passing, chaplains are the frontlines of help in those challenging times.
If you are looking into becoming a chaplain, chances are you know the impact chaplains have in the community. Maybe you’ve been personally impacted by a chaplain. Or maybe you’ve seen the difference they’ve made to those around you. Your heart yearns to serve in the same way. How do you get started? It doesn’t have to be a confusing or overwhelming process. We’re here to help! Learn more about I.F.O.C. training and credentialing and see how we can help you discern your calling to become a chaplain.
What is a Chaplain?
The definition of a chaplain is a minister in the workplace. Chaplaincy is all about ministering in secular spaces. Chaplains bridge the gap between the secular world and the body of Christ. Chaplaincy provides the means to bring the hope of Jesus beyond the walls of a church building and into the real moments of people’s lives. Chaplains represent a safe place as they seek to bring the love of Jesus through tangible acts of real care and help.
Without the proper training, even with the right motives, you could do more harm than good in moments of crisis and trauma.
What are the right things to say to someone whose daughter has committed suicide?
What resources are available to someone who is experiencing domestic violence?
How can your presence bring peace in moments of grief and loss?
What do I do to respond after a natural disaster?
Becoming a chaplain puts the right tools in your tool belt to minister to those in need.
How do I become a Chaplain?
Where do I begin? There are many programs out there. It can feel overwhelming to find the best fit! Many academic programs are too expensive to be practical or require too many qualifications and prerequisites to get started. We believe it shouldn’t be this hard to gain the skills and know-how to help you do what you are called to do–to minister to those around you! With I.F.O.C. Chaplain training and credentials, you’ll be equipped to step into the role you were designed to fill. We provide the tools, training, and community to gain the skills and confidence to bring relief and hope in crisis.
Why miss another opportunity to care for the hurting because you’re afraid of messing up? Don’t settle for less because you lack the tools and confidence to provide a real impact. God is moving around you. He wants to work through you. Don’t miss out because you feel ill-equipped.
Becoming a chaplain with I.F.O.C. will help you recognize the open doors in your workplace, neighborhood, community, church, and family. You will fulfill your call and mission to minister to those in need. Chaplaincy gives you legitimate access to be God’s hands and feet in their lives.
We all need someone to be there for us in moments of pain, sadness, confusion, and loss. We understand your desire to love people in some of their greatest moments of need. We know your heart yearns to influence people for good. But you can’t influence without access, and you can’t have access without credentials. I.F.O.C. has been providing Christian Chaplain credentialing for over 25 years and has over 1,700 current Chaplains serving across the US and the world. Our training and credentials are the right next step in your journey to bringing help and hope to a hurting world.
“Why do people become a chaplain with I.F.O.C.? Because God has set them free from something. Now they want to pass it on to others! They want to use the healing God has put in their life to serve their community. And they may not know how until they receive Chaplain training. Chaplaincy gives you a voice! It helps you recognize your healing, provides direction for your passion, and then opens a path to your mission.”
Steps to Becoming a Chaplain
The first step in becoming a chaplain is to sign up for a training class. There are no education or prior training prerequisites required–simply a desire to serve! No bachelor’s or master’s degrees are required to become a chaplain with I.F.O.C.
Classes are held in-person and online. In-person classes are conducted with small groups of 25-50 students and give you direct access to live instructors, small group activities, and practice. In-person classes are held throughout the States – click here to see if there are any upcoming classes near you. Classes are held 8 am – 5 pm Monday through Friday. Attending an in-person class allows you to build connections and community with other like-minded Christians.
If you cannot attend an in-person class, an online version is also available! The online class includes the same content but gives you the freedom to work through the material on your own time. Once you sign up for an online class, you are given 31-day access to the material. The training must be completed within that time frame. Online classes include one required four-hour live webinar and also offer the opportunity to join live Q&A sessions every week to interact directly with an instructor.
Once you complete a class, whether in-person or online, you will receive a certificate of completion. You will leave this world-class training with greater confidence in your ability to recognize, understand, and respond to areas of need around you.
Content covered includes topics such as:
- Types of chaplaincy
- Duties of a chaplain
- Spiritual Care
- Chaplaincy and the Law
- Ethics & Responsibilities
The training also includes critical skillsets for a chaplain such as confidentiality, listening, resources and allies, crisis intervention, and critical incident stress management, and more.
You will learn about the great areas of need chaplains meet including grief and loss, trauma, depression, substance abuse, suicide, disaster response, death, human trafficking, and domestic violence.
“I’ve never seen someone go through the training and not leave changed. There is a transformation that happens when you go through the I.F.O.C. training. You leave looking at the world in a new light!”
After receiving a certificate of completion, you are then invited to apply for I.F.O.C. credentials. Every I.F.O.C. Chaplain is licensed and each has the option to be ordained. The application along with a background check and reference letters (see here for our application FAQs) will be processed by the I.F.O.C. office. Finally, you will undergo an interview with a member of the credentialing committee to be approved and awarded a license and possibly ordination credential.
You do not have to be a pastor to receive licensing or ordination credentials through I.F.O.C.! Our chaplaincy training and fellowship allows anyone of the Christian faith who feels called by God to complete the training and apply to minister in the position of a Chaplain.
Following the credentialing process, you will receive a certificate and ID card and get the chance to purchase uniforms identifying you as a credentialed chaplain. Now you can serve as a chaplain in your sphere of influence and community opportunities! Our credentials cross state and international lines. With I.F.O.C. credentials, you can serve as a chaplain in your backyard or around the world! There are no restrictions or additional requirements for specific states to attend our training, become credentialed, or serve as an I.F.O.C. chaplain.
Your Chaplain membership also enrolls you in an international fellowship of like-minded ministers and servants. All I.F.O.C. members are assigned and encouraged to participate in a local or virtual corps. This corps, led by experienced Chaplains, includes exclusive education opportunities, programs, and support to continue learning and improving your ability to impact your community. This support network of relationships and resources will help you discern your place to serve and assist you in finding opportunities to live out your calling. You must attend our training and receive credentialing through the I.F.O.C to be a part of our corps fellowship.
Susie was a pastor’s wife for over 40 years. Yet after being in ministry for almost 50 years, something was missing. After attending I.F.O.C. training and credentials, Susie began volunteering as a chaplain in a local nursing home. For the first time in her life, Susie felt that she had the tools to step into her calling. What changed? I.F.O.C. finally gave her the things to say and do that bring real hope and help to people. Although she had been a Christian for decades, I.F.O.C. provided the confidence to turn the passion she had all along into ministry in the real world.
What is an I.F.O.C. Chaplain?
- We are people of faith
- We understand our calling
- We are servants
- We are the hands and feet of God
- We are caring people
- We are dedicated people
- We are well trained
- We are professionals
What do we do?
- We offer spiritual and emotional support
- By listening
- By meeting the needs of our community
- By helping our neighbors
- By working hard
- By praying with and for people
- By being compassionate
- By being non-judgmental
- By offering comfort
- By working with people of all faiths and denominations
- By working outside the four walls of the church
- Because we love God
- Because we want to show His love through actions
- Because we love people
How about you? Is this your aspiration?
Become a chaplain with I.F.O.C. to gain the credentials and skills you need to bring hope and care to a hurting world. Join our ranks and gain a like-minded fellowship of servants to encourage and spur you on in your passions and calling. Register for a class now to start living your life with the purpose God designed for you to meet your community’s pressing needs.
Jessica is a teacher in a public school. She yearned to care for her students the way Jesus would, while honoring her role in the school. Since chaplains are purposed to minister in the secular world and serve first as practical helpers to those in need, she has the freedom to serve as a chaplain in her workplace. Ministering as a recognized chaplain has opened up many doors for Jessica! Jessica’s students and fellow faculty see her as a safe space for help. She has been able to provide help to children contemplating suicide, those in abusive home situations, and more.