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CHAPLAIN MINISTRIES

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).

The military and various civilian institutions require that chaplains be endorsed by their denominations. EPC-ordained ministers and Candidates Under Care may receive denominational Ecclesiastical Endorsement through the General Assembly’s Chaplains Work and Care Committee and Chaplain Endorser. The EPC also is a member of the Chaplains Commission of the National Association of Evangelicals and Chaplains Alliance for Religious Liberty, providing further support to our chaplains. See the Resources section below for more information about these organizations.

Chaplains who wish to transfer endorsement to the EPC from other denominations should follow the process outlined in the Ministerial Vocation Transfer of Ordination page, be received as a member of an EPC presbytery, and complete the endorsement process with the Chaplains Work and Care Committee.

For specifics regarding the endorsement process for military and civilian chaplaincies, as well as Military Chaplain Candidate programs, see the appropriate section below:

MILITARY CHAPLAINCY

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

MILITARY CHAPLAIN CANDIDATES

Prior to ordination—and usually at the beginning of the process—it is highly recommended that EPC Candidates Under Care seeking military chaplaincy receive Ecclesiastical Approval to enter the Chaplain Candidate Program with the military branch of their choice. During this program, the Chaplain Candidate will attend Candidate’s School and serve several weeks as a Chaplain Candidate during the summer at a military installation while they are in seminary. Note that these summer candidate tours are paid.

To be eligible, an individual needs to be starting their Master of Divinity program, or still have at least 1½ years of their seminary education left to complete. Once an individual has come “Under Care” of their presbytery, the applicant seeks Ecclesiastical Approval to apply to a Military Chaplain Candidate Program by completing and submitting the following:

Application for Approval to apply to a Military Chaplain Candidate Program.
Three written references (forms are available by contacting the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org).
Physician’s report on your physical health (no older than six months).
Personal interview with a member of the Chaplain’s Work and Care Committee or its designee.
Video conference interview with the Chaplains Work and Care Committee.

For more information, to request and/or submit application forms for military chaplaincy, or if you have any questions, contact the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org. You also can contact Mark Ingles, EPC Chaplain Endorser, at chaplainendorser@epc.org.

MILITARY CHAPLAIN APPLICANTS (NOT IN THE CANDIDATE PROGRAM)

Applicants for Military Chaplaincy (who would not be eligible for the Chaplain Candidate Program) could include—but not be limited to—transfers from another denomination, individuals who already are ordained and have a calling to Military Chaplaincy, and those pastoring a church but want to add part-time Military Chaplaincy to their calling.

Please note that in most cases, the military requires experience serving in a church or parachurch ministry (particularly those that could have a “pastor” title applied to it), before receiving an Active Duty commission. So any ministry experience an individual can receive—beyond what they would receive from their work as a Chaplain Candidate—is highly recommended.

The application process for Military Ecclesiastical Endorsement requires completing and submitting the following:

Application for Military Chaplaincy Form.
Personal Information Form (PIF).
Five written and three follow-up phone references (chosen from the five written). Forms are available by contacting the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org.
Physician’s report on your physical health (no older than six months).
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 version).
The PREPARE/ENRICH Marriage Inventory (for applicant and spouse).
Personal interview with a member of the Chaplains Work and Care Committee or its designee.
In-person or video conference interview with the Chaplains Work and Care Committee.

For more information, to request and/or submit application forms for military chaplaincy, or if you have any questions, contact the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org. You also can contact Mark Ingles, EPC Chaplain Endorser, at chaplainendorser@epc.org.

For specific information and requirements regarding chaplaincy with the various military services, click the appropriate image:

U.S. Navy

Also includes chaplains serving the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps

CIVILIAN CHAPLAINCY

Civilian chaplains serve in local police and fire departments, corporate environments, medical care facilities, hospice organizations, correctional institutions, and other non-military settings. Many hospitals and other institutions require chaplains to have Ecclesiastical Endorsement.

The Chaplains Work and Care Committee (CWCC) and Chaplain Endorser handle the application, interview, and endorsement process for individuals seeking Ecclesiastical Endorsement. If approved, the EPC Chaplain Endorser forwards the EPC Ecclesiastical Endorsement to the appropriate certifying body (NOTE: VA endorsements are provided directly to the endorsee). The CWCC and Endorser also provide Ecclesiastical Approval for Chaplaincy for institutions that do not require endorsement. This process differs slightly from the process for Ecclesiastical Endorsement; for more information, contact the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org.

The application process for Civilian Ecclesiastical Endorsement requires completing and submitting the following:

Application for Civilian Chaplaincy Form.
Personal Information Form (PIF).
Five written and three follow-up phone references (chosen from the five written). Forms are available by contacting the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2 version).
Personal interview with a member of the Chaplains Work and Care Committee or its designee.
In-person or video conference interview with the Chaplains Work and Care Committee.

For more information, to request and/or submit application forms for civilian chaplaincy, or if you have any questions, contact the Office of the Assistant Stated Clerk at zenaida.bermudez@epc.org. You also can contact Mark Ingles, EPC Chaplain Endorser, at chaplainendorser@epc.org.

In addition, the EPC works with the following agencies for Civilian Chaplaincy, including those providing avenues for Board Certification. Click on the appropriate image for certification requirements and other information.

RESOURCES

CONTACTS

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Jerry Iamurri, Assistant Stated Clerk
407-930-4011
jerry.iamurri@epc.org

Zenaida Bermudez, Executive Assistant to the Assistant Stated Clerk
407-930-4462
zenaida.bermudez@epc.org

Mark Ingles, Chaplain Endorser
719-433-2747
chaplainendorser@epc.org

CHAPLAINS WORK AND CARE COMMITTEE

Ted Tromble, Chair
TE, Presbytery of the Rivers and Lakes

Bruce Alexander
RE, Presbytery of the East

Karen Bolte
TE, Presbytery of the Pacific Southwest

Tim Foster
TE, Presbytery of the Central South

David Snyder
TE, Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic

Richard Swedberg
RE, Presbytery of the West

Office of the General Assembly
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822
407-930-4239
407-930-4247 (fax)
info@epc.org

OGA Staff Contacts