Chaplains are ministers of the gospel, who are called to minister to people outside of the traditional walls of the church. Institutional chaplaincy is one of the Church of God in Christ’s (COGIC) most dynamic, effective means to reach people in spiritual distress. COGIC chaplains regard themselves as ordained pastors meeting the highest industry standards serving “persons of faith and those of none.” The chaplain is assigned to a specialized ministry context and the institutional setting is his/her parish. The chaplain is expected to perform in a professional and highly ethical manner. The employing institution establishes the minimum requirements and expectations.
As representatives of COGIC, the tenants of faith are foremost aligned with faith and practice. Chaplains use the insights and principles of theology and psychology, ministerial experience, academic training to provide active listening and prayer, confidential counseling, assistance with weighing medical decisions, religious rituals, conduct worship services, death and dying, baptisms, and marriages, etc. to patients, families, and staff.
Institutional chaplains who are board-certified have graduated from an accredited Association of Theological Schools institution, completed a minimum of four units of clinical pastoral education training through ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care & Education. The Association of Professional Chaplains is highly recommended for board certification. COGIC endorsement ensures the legal and authoritative permission and approval for ordained clergy to provide/perform spiritual support and pastoral care in an institutional setting.