What Is a Chaplain

Chaplains play an important part in the lives of those who need immediate spiritual guidance. Are you ready to look beyond the traditional role of a clergy person? Are you willing to journey with people, right where they are, and demonstrate by word and deed the love of God?

chap·lain n. Abbr. Ch.

  1. A member of the clergy attached to a chapel.
    • a. A member of the clergy who conducts religious services for an institution, such as a prison or hospital.
    • b. A member of the clergy who is connected with a royal court or an aristocratic household.
  2. A member of the clergy attached to a branch of the armed forces. For the purposes of our organization, a chaplain is a person called by God to serve in a specialized ministry. A chaplain is more than a minister or clergy person. A chaplain is one who is called upon to serve in a pluralistic environment, one that most clergy do not have to worry about. He or she is “on loan” by their ordaining/endorsing body to serve a particular group of people for the purpose of service.

If we look at the definition above, #2, b, which states a chaplain is member of the clergy who is connected with a royal court, and so we are. As a chaplain we are representatives of the Lord God on high, called, anointed and appointed to be a servant to the people of God. This appointment is not only to serve those who love and follow Jesus but also to serve all in the spirit of Christ. We must provide pastoral care & ministry to persons of religious bodies other than our own within our area of responsibility with the same investment we would give members of our own religious body.

A chaplain is a special person who is called by God to maintain a disciplined life and ministry. As chaplains we must constantly seek to improve our ministry with continued biblical studies and professional education; fellowship with like-minded people of God and we must be leaders in our communities. We are to be examples and demonstrate Christ-Like qualities that would cause others to see Christ within us. We must never compromise our religious beliefs or practices and must reach beyond our own understanding and seek to be effective servants of God.