PASTORAL MINISTRY HANDBOOK | CHAPTER 9

Ordained Chaplains

Description

Ordained chaplains are members of the United Brethren church who have been called by God and are pursuing employment as professional members of the chaplaincy. They provide pastoral care for persons of diverse backgrounds in physical, mental, spiritual, and social need in diverse settings. Their call has been confirmed by the church through a process of examination, education, and accountability.

Qualifications

To become a candidate for ordination as chaplain, a national conference minister must do the following:

1. Complete the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA.

2. Complete four units (1600 hours) of Clinical Pastoral Education in an institution accredited by the American College of Pastoral Education.

3. Demonstrate a level of faithfulness and competency which warrants consideration for licentiate status.

Procedure

The following procedure is established for the ordination of chaplains.

1. Request by the National Conference Minister

After holding a national conference license for a minimum of two years, individuals may submit a request to the conference Ministerial Licensing and Ordination Team for consideration for the office of ordained chaplain in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA.

2. Examination by the Ministerial Licensing and Ordination Team

Applicants shall be examined by the Ministerial Licensing and Ordination Team. The following are required.

a. Five letters of reference. These letters should give evidence of the applicant’s marriage and family relationships, interpersonal relationships and social skills, and faithfulness in Christian living. They should be obtained from the following individuals:

(1) Two Clinical Pastoral Education supervisors.

(2) The pastor of the local United Brethren church the candidate attends.

(3) A layperson serving in leadership at the local United Brethren church the candidate attends.

(4) A friend or relative.

b. A copy of his/her academic transcripts.

c. Written responses to the questions in Chapter 8, “Examination of Candidates for Ordination.”

3. Ordination by the National Conference

Following the examination, the examining committee shall report its findings to the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team and make any recommendations it deems consistent with its findings. Pending a favorable recommendation from the examining committee, the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team may choose to grant ordination status.

Loss of License

The Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team shall have the authority to revoke the credentials of any chaplains whose lives and ministries are inconsistent with the expectations detailed in the Discipline. Should they desire, chaplains shall be granted an opportunity for a hearing before final action is taken.

Ordained Chaplains from Other Denominations

Ordained chaplains from other denominations who seek to be ordained by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, must demonstrate that their ordinations are still considered to be in good standing from their denomination of origin, demonstrate a favorable standing with the American College of Chaplains and provide documentation that verifies they meet the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA.

These elders will be examined by the Ministerial Licensing and Ordination Team. Once that examination has occurred and a favorable recommendation has been approved by Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team, these elders will be granted a license. Upon completion of the one year of service requirement and the course in United Brethren church history, their prior ordination will be recognized.

Continuing Education for Elders

All chaplains are required to complete CEUs annually as offered by the American College of Chaplains and National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

Expectations of Chaplains

In addition to the general expectations of all ministers and members in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, elders are expected to faithfully fulfill the following:

1. Annual Reporting

All chaplains must file an annual report of their activities with the bishop.

2. Accountability

Since this license is granted by the national conference, ordained chaplains are accountable to the national conference. They are also required to participate in and be accountable to a cluster, if practicable.

3. Ministerial Service

Chaplains shall work under the direction of the bishop. They are authorized to officiate at funerals and weddings and to administer the ordinances of baptism and communion. They may supply pulpits when ministers are ill or on vacation. They may serve as associates, but not as the senior pastor, of any congregation.

The entire Pastoral Ministry Handbook can be downloaded as a PDF file.