ABOUT ECCLESIASTICAL ENDORSEMENT
An endorsement is the legal and authoritative permission and approval for a clergy person of a particular denomination or faith group to perform/provide religious support and pastoral care to persons of diverse religious and non-religious affiliations in specialized settings such as military, prisons, healthcare/hospice, and workplace facilities.
An Ecclesiastical Endorser is the executive of a religious organization approved by the Armed Forces Ecclesiastical Board to legally endorse the clergy member to serve in specialized settings. The endorser certify that the clergy person is qualified educationally, spiritually, morally, with experience to represent his/her religious organization as a chaplain. The endorser provides a legal document to the specialized institution for service by the chaplain. Without this endorsement, chaplains cannot perform/provide religious support in specialized settings even though they are ordained and licensed.
What an Endorsement is not
An ecclesiastical endorsement is not a letter of recommendation. Anyone or any church can write a recommendation. Only recognized ecclesiastical endorsing agencies can legally endorse. An ecclesiastical endorsement is not ordination. Only a denomination, faith group, or church has God-given authority to ordain. CFGC respects and recognizes the autonomous authority of its churches and fellowship groups to ordain their clergy. Subsequently, CFGC does ordain prospective chaplains on the authority and at the request of the churches and fellowship groups that we represent.
General Requirements for Endorsement
CFGC generally requires no specific educational or professional background beyond that which the prospective chaplain’s institution requires. Next, CFGC conducts a criminal background check with a licensed private investigator as well as a spiritual background check with the minister's pastor, ministerial colleagues, and ordaining authorities. Professional chaplaincy applicants are then interviewed in-person by a member of the CFGC family. In addition to all the above requirements, the prospective chaplain is instructed that they must have a servant’s heart and a willingness to minister to all people regardless of their ethnic, religious backgrounds, and moral values. This is quite a challenge to many clergy, but if a minister desires to be a chaplain, he/she must agree, in writing, to be a servant to all, without discrimination. This lack of bias is especially crucial for chaplains who become supervisors or subordinate chaplains.