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CHAPLAIN MINISTRIES

Rev. Mark Ingles
(USAF, Retired)
EPC Chaplain Endorser

The EPC recognizes Chaplaincy as one of the varieties of callings within the office of Minister of the Word:

“A court of the Church, a hospital, the military, institutions, universities, or other appropriate fields of service may call a Teaching Elder as Chaplain if the Presbytery deems it appropriate. In such cases, the Chaplain shall always have as a primary responsibility the sharing of the Good News of God in Jesus Christ.” (EPC Book of Government 9-5E).

Many institutions require Endorsement for chaplaincy, including the military, various civilian institutions, and most certification programs. The EPC requires everyone serving in Chaplain roles to receive Denominational Endorsement to serve as a Chaplain. The process for Chaplain Endorsements for EPC Chaplains serving in all aspects of Chaplaincy is managed and implemented by the Chaplain Endorser and Chaplains Work and Care Committee (CWCC).

If you are seeking to work in any Chaplaincy role, you need to apply for and receive Denominational Endorsement through the CWCC and Endorser. This includes those seeking to enter a Military Chaplain Candidate Program, serve in chaplaincy as an additional role to current ministry, seeking a military or civilian chaplain position full-time or as a transfer from another denomination, or working as a Volunteer Chaplain. There are five primary categories of EPC Endorsement:

1. Required Ecclesiastical/Denominational Endorsement (for institutions that require Endorsement).
2. Denominational Endorsement (for institutions that do not require Endorsement but is required by the EPC).
3. Transfer of Endorsement (for chaplains transferring their endorsement and ordination to the EPC).
4. Conditional Endorsement (provided when Ordination is pending, for institutions requiring Endorsement to apply for a Chaplain position—such as the Bureau of Prisons or Veterans Administration—or to apply for Board Certification, Clinical Pastoral Education, Residencies, etc.). Other extenuating circumstances can prompt Conditional Endorsement at the discretion of the Chaplain Endorser and CWCC.
5. Endorsement to serve as a Volunteer Chaplain (for chaplains serving in unpaid, volunteer positions such as Fire/Police Departments, retirement communities, addiction centers, etc.).

The EPC provides additional support to Chaplains through its membership and Chaplain Endorser involvement in the Evangelical Chaplains Commission (ECC), which is part of the National Association of Evangelicals; the National Conference of Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF); the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty (CALL); and the Military Chaplains Association (MCA). See the Resources section below for more information.

For specifics regarding the Endorsement process for military and civilian chaplaincies, as well as other important information, scroll to the appropriate section or use these quick links:

Military Chaplaincy
Military Chaplaincy Transfer of Endorsement
Civilian Institutional Chaplaincy
Civilian Institutional Chaplaincy Transfer of Endorsement
Volunteer Chaplaincy
Resources
Contacts

MILITARY CHAPLAINCY

The Chaplain Endorser and Chaplains Work and Care Committee (CWCC) handle the application, interview, and endorsement process for individuals seeking Ecclesiastical Endorsement as a military chaplain to serve in Active Duty, Reserve, Guard, Civil Air Patrol, or Coast Guard Auxiliary chaplaincies. If approved, the Chaplain Endorser forwards the Ecclesiastical Endorsement to the Chief of Chaplains Accessions Office of the appropriate branch of the military. The Endorser and CWCC also handle the Endorsement process for individuals wanting to enter a Military Chaplain Candidate Program.

Applicants for Military Chaplaincy include—but are not limited to—those nearing ordination, transfers from another denomination (see Transfer of Endorsement below), individuals who already are ordained and have a calling to Military Chaplaincy, those pastoring a church but want to add part-time Military Chaplaincy to their calling, and Chaplain Candidates who have completed (or are close to graduating) seminary, are completing their chaplain candidate program, and pursuing ordination.

For specific information and requirements from each military branch of service on how to become a chaplain, click the appropriate image below.

U.S. Navy

Includes chaplains serving the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Merchant Marines

U.S. Air Force

Includes chaplains serving the U.S. Space Force

MILITARY CHAPLAIN CANDIDATES (IF ELIGIBLE)

For those in seminary (or about to start) and seeking to become a military chaplain, it is highly recommended to apply to a Military Chaplain Candidate Program (MCCP) of the military branch of their choice. Typically, MCCP involvement begins at the onset of an applicant’s seminary studies and continues throughout their degree program. During the MCCP, the Chaplain Candidate will attend Officer Training School, including training focused particularly for prospective chaplains. In addition, he or she will serve several weeks—typically during the summer—at a military installation as a Chaplain Candidate. Not only does this give the Chaplain Candidate opportunity to experience military chaplaincy firsthand, but also earns Officer-1 level pay when engaged in Chaplain Candidate activities.

To be eligible, the military normally requires that the applicant be starting their Master of Divinity program or have about 1½ years of seminary education left to complete. The Endorsement process to apply to a military Chaplain Candidate program begins once the EPC is informed that a candidate has come “Under Care” of their local presbytery.

To begin the application process, complete the Military Chaplain Candidate Application, available at the bottom of this section. When your application is received, you will be contacted and informed of additional items you will need to complete. These include:

Three written references, one of which will receive a follow-up phone call from a member of the CWCC.
Physician’s report on your physical health (no older than one year), which can be the same one you provide to your presbytery.
One-on-one interview (in person or via video/telephone call) with a member of the CWCC or their designee.
Video conference interview with the Chaplain Endorser and CWCC.

For more information, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org or Vanessa Mullendore at vanessa.mullendore@epc.org.

MILITARY CHAPLAIN APPLICANTS (ACTIVE DUTY, RESERVE, GUARD)

For those seeking Active-duty Chaplaincy, the military typically requires two years of ministry experience before they can go Active Duty. Therefore, to meet the military requirement as soon as possible it is highly recommended that individuals completing their chaplain candidate program or entering military chaplaincy directly engage in ministry experience at their earliest opportunity. Keep in mind that this requirement is continually adjusting and varies among the military branches. Also note that this ministry experience requirement differs for those seeking a Reserve or National Guard position. Applicants should investigate the specific requirements of the military branch of choice.

To be eligible for Endorsement, the applicant needs to be ordained by the EPC, or in the process of being ordained by their presbytery. Ordination and Endorsement are normally run in parallel. At minimum, the applicant should begin their endorsement process when he or she has begun their process leading to ordination.

To begin, complete the Military Chaplain Application, available at the bottom of this section. When your application is received, you will be contacted and informed of additional items you will need to complete. These include:

Updated Personal Information Form (PIF), which can be the same one your presbytery requires (updated if more than one year old).
Five written references, at least one of which will receive a follow-up phone call from a member of the CWCC.
Physician’s report on your physical health (no older than one year), which can be the same one you provide to your presbytery.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-3 version) or approved equivalent, which can be a copy of the one your presbytery requires.
If married, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Couple Check-up” Inventory (send your results to the Chaplain Endorser).
If engaged, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Marriage” Inventory through a facilitator (facilitator should provide a brief, overall assessment of the relationship to the Chaplain Endorser).
One-on-one interview (in person or via video/telephone call) with a member of the CWCC or its designee.
Video conference interview with the Chaplain Endorser and CWCC.

For more information, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org or Vanessa Mullendore at vanessa.mullendore@epc.org.

MILITARY CHAPLAIN TRANSFER OF ENDORSEMENT

Chaplains currently serving, whether Active, Reserve, or Guard who wish to transfer their Ordination credentials and Endorsement to the EPC from another denomination need to follow the EPC’s Transfer of Ordination process, the Transfer of Endorsement requirements outlined here, and complete the Endorsement process with the Endorser and CWCC. The Military Chaplain Transfer of Endorsement process is completed in parallel with the general EPC Transfer of Ordination process.

To begin, complete the Military Chaplain Transfer of Endorsement Application, available at the bottom of this section. When your application is received, you will be contacted and informed of additional items you will need to complete. These include:

Updated Personal Information Form (PIF), which can be the same one your presbytery requires (updated if more than one year old).
Three written references, one of which will receive a follow-up phone call from a member of the CWCC.
Physician’s report on your physical health (no older than one year), which can be the same one you provide to your presbytery.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-3 version) or approved equivalent, which can be a copy of the one your presbytery requires.
If married, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Couple Check-up” Inventory (send your results to the Chaplain Endorser).
If engaged, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Marriage” Inventory through a facilitator (facilitator should provide a brief, overall assessment of the relationship to the Chaplain Endorser).
One-on-one interview (in person or via video/telephone call) with a member of the CWCC or its designee.
Video conference interview with the Endorser and CWCC.

For more information, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org or Vanessa Mullendore at vanessa.mullendore@epc.org.

CIVILIAN INSTITUTIONAL CHAPLAINCY

Civilian Institution chaplains serve in corporate environments, medical care facilities, hospice organizations, correctional institutions, law enforcement, fire departments, and other non-military settings. Correctional Facilities as well as many hospitals, hospice, and other institutions require or expect chaplains to have Ecclesiastical/Denominational Endorsement.

EPC Chaplains serving as an employed, civilian chaplain needs to receive Denominational Endorsement by the Chaplain Endorser and CWCC regardless of whether the institution requires formal Endorsement. Individuals seeking to serve in Volunteer Chaplain positions also need to apply to the Chaplain Endorser and CWCC to receive a Letter of Endorsement to serve as a Chaplain (see Volunteer Chaplaincy section below). Endorsement provides essential connection with the Endorser and the CWCC, valuable legal protection, encouraging support, and important camaraderie with fellow EPC Chaplains.

The Endorser and CWCC also work with the following agencies for Civilian Chaplaincy, including Veteran’s Administration (VA) Chaplaincy, and those providing avenues for Board Certification. Click on the appropriate image for these agencies’ certification requirements, and for infomation on VA Chaplaincy.

CIVILIAN CHAPLAIN APPLICANTS

The Chaplain Endorser and CWCC manage the application, interview, and endorsement process for all Civilian Institution Chaplain applicants (Volunteer Chaplaincy is addressed below). If granted, the Chaplain Endorser forwards the Endorsement to the appropriate certifying body, institution, or applicant (VA Endorsements are provided directly to the endorsee).

To be eligible for Endorsement, the applicant needs to be ordained by the EPC, or in the process of being ordained by their presbytery. Ordination and Endorsement are normally run in parallel. At minimum, once the applicant has begun their process leading to ordination, he or she should begin their endorsement process.

To begin, complete the Civilian Chaplain Application, available at the bottom of this section. When your application is received, you will be contacted and informed of additional items you will need to complete. These include:

Updated Personal Information Form (PIF), which can be the same one your presbytery requires (updated if more than one year old).
Five written references, at least one of which will receive a follow-up phone call from a member of the CWCC.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-3 version) or approved equivalent, which can be a copy of the one your presbytery requires.
If married, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Couple Check-up” Inventory (send your results to the Chaplain Endorser).
If engaged, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Marriage” Inventory through a facilitator (facilitator should provide a brief, overall assessment of the relationship to the Chaplain Endorser).
One-on-one interview (in person or via video/telephone call) with a member of the CWCC or its designee.
Video conference interview with the Endorser and CWCC.

For more information, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org or Vanessa Mullendore at vanessa.mullendore@epc.org.

 

CIVILIAN CHAPLAIN TRANSFER OF ENDORSEMENT

Chaplains currently serving with a civilian institution who wish to transfer their Ordination credentials and Endorsement to the EPC from another denomination need to follow the EPC’s Transfer of Ordination process, be received as a member of an EPC presbytery, follow the Transfer of Endorsement requirements outlined here, and complete the Endorsement process with the CWCC. The Civilian Chaplain Transfer of Endorsement process is conducted in parallel with the general EPC Transfer of Ordination process.

To begin, complete the Civilian Chaplain Transfer of Endorsement Application, available at the bottom of this section. When your application is received, you will be contacted and informed of additional items you will need to complete. These include:

Updated Personal Information Form (PIF), which can be the same one your presbytery requires (updated if more than one year old).
Three written references, one of which will receive a follow-up phone call from a member of the CWCC.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-3 version) or approved equivalent, which can be a copy of the one your presbytery requires.
If married, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Couple Check-up” Inventory (send your results to the Chaplain Endorser).
If engaged, a completed Prepare/Enrich “Marriage” Inventory through a facilitator (facilitator should provide a brief, overall assessment of the relationship to the Chaplain Endorser).
One-on-one interview (in person or via video/telephone call) with a member of the CWCC or its designee.
Video conference interview with the Endorser and CWCC.

For more information, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org or Vanessa Mullendore at vanessa.mullendore@epc.org.

VOLUNTEER CHAPLAINCY

Volunteer Chaplains serve in unpaid positions in a wide variety of settings and institutions, such as medical care facilities, law enforcement, fire departments and other first responder settings, retirement facilities, addiction centers, and more.

All chaplains who are members of the EPC and who serve in Volunteer Chaplain positions (whether paid or uncompensated) are required to apply to receive Endorsement to Serve as a Volunteer Chaplain. The applicant must be ordained or commissioned by the EPC, in the process of being ordained by their presbytery, and/or recognized and approved by their presbytery to serve as a Volunteer Chaplain.

Those seeking to serve in Volunteer Chaplain positions need to follow the unique Volunteer Chaplain Endorsement process as outlined below. Once approved, the applicant will receive a “Letter of Endorsement to Serve as a Volunteer Chaplain” from the Endorser and CWCC. This Endorsement provides appropriate recognition, essential connection with the Endorser and the CWCC, valuable legal protection, encouraging support, and important camaraderie with fellow EPC Chaplains.

As with other Civilian Chaplain positions, the CWCC and Chaplain Endorser manage the endorsement process for Volunteer Chaplains. Since Volunteer Chaplain positions often are filled by individuals already serving as a pastor or in another paid Chaplain position, the Application and Endorsement process for Volunteer Chaplains is much less involved than regular Endorsement.

To begin, complete the Volunteer Chaplain Application, available at the bottom of this section. When your application is received, you will be contacted and informed of additional items you will need to complete. These include:

Updated Personal Information Form (PIF), if available and/or applicable.
Written notification from your presbytery that you are a member in good standing and approved to serve as a Volunteer Chaplain.
Two written references.
One-on-one interview (in person or via video/telephone call) with the Chaplain Endorser or a member of the CWCC.

For more information, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org or Vanessa Mullendore at vanessa.mullendore@epc.org.

Note: For individuals already serving as a Volunteer Chaplain, contact Mark Ingles at chaplainendorser@epc.org for information about the process of receiving CWCC Endorsement as a “Currently Serving Volunteer Chaplain.”

RESOURCES

CONTACTS

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Mark Ingles, EPC Chaplain Endorser
719-433-2747

Vanessa Mullendore, Office Assistant/Endorser Support
407-930-4389

Jerry Iamurri, Assistant Stated Clerk
407-930-4011

CHAPLAINS WORK AND CARE COMMITTEE

Brad Yorton, Chairman
TE, Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest

Bruce Alexander
RE, Presbytery of the East

Marty Carpenter
TE, Presbytery of the Pacific Southwest

Tim Foster
TE, Presbytery of the Central South

Glen Holman
RE, Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic

Jennifer Prechter
TE, Presbytery of Florida and the Caribbean

Scott Rash
TE, Presbytery of the Great Plains

David Snyder
TE, Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic

Richard Swedberg
RE, Presbytery of the West

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