Please READ carefully, BEFORE you apply to us.
- We take this seriously.Endorsement is a serious legal and spiritual relationship between a clergyperson, their sponsoring church, and the endorsing body. If you are not sure what it is, please visit and read What is Endorsement?.
- There are a good many pitfalls that one can fall into before becoming a chaplain. For your own well-being, please spend some time reading our Hints and FAQs page before applying and making some mistakes that may actually cost you your chaplaincy ministry – even before it begins.
- Please carefully and completely answer all the applicable questions on our application. Skipping some questions just delays your application’s processing and it causes us to wonder if you are hiding something or you are just not attentive to details. Either of these puts your competency as a spiritual caregiver into question. You are either a professional-in-the-making or an operational professional by now. Show it by taking your time to be thorough in your answers and superior in your performance.
- We are a very broad coalition of churches.
- Some of our member churches are more Evangelical in orientation. Some are more liturgical/sacramental in practice. Some are a convergence of both.
- Some of our churches are not at all supportive of women in ministry. Others are completely supportive and encouraging of women in ministry.
- Some of our churches are dispensational when it comes to eschatology. Others are post-millennial. Others are a-millennial. Others are classical pre-millenial. Still others take no stand at all or are blend of these.
- Some of our churches are more ethnically-based or culturally-focused on just one or two ethnic groups. Some are very and intentionally ethnically diverse and multi-cultural.
- Some of our churches produce chaplains and other clergy who are forbidden to minister in a meaningful way to LGBT folks. Others of our churches take the position that while ministering to such folks is not their particular church’s emphasis, they realize that “the chaplaincy is not the church and the church is not the chaplaincy.” They grant their chaplains permission to minister to all folks who seek their pastoral care. Still other churches aligned with us are themselves committed to loving and supporting all who come through their doors, and they expect the chaplains that they ordain and sponsor to take the same position.
- To all of these churches and their chaplains we are committed to supporting and serving as an administrative agent. We are called to serve them and assist these chaplains in fulfilling their calling. We do not take a stand on non-essentials, nor do we dictate to churches what should be their doctrines, dogmas, or practices. For us, the essentials are that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God and that salvation is promised to those who put their faith in Him, and have a personal relationship with Him as Lord and Savior. Please see our Statement of Faith.
- Financial consideration.We are a very unusual endorsing body. Unlike any other endorsing bodies of independent sovereign/autonomous churches, for the past two decades, we have asked the Lord to supply our needs through our chaplains and any means He saw fit. We realize that each chaplain has their own story and their own set of needs and circumstances. We have some chaplains with special needs children and other family members whom they are supporting financially. We have other chaplains with very few financial needs and who can -- and do -- support in very generous fashion, some sacrificially. We do not know our chaplains’ hearts unless they reveal them.
As we read the Bible, especially the New Testament, it seems to us that some folks gave to the Lord as best they could given their particular set of circumstances. And as such, we ask all chaplains to pray about their role in supporting The Coalition. We expect everyone earning money from our endorsement to give. In our nineteenth year (2018), it became clear that some folks have either misunderstood these facts and expectations or they just did not care and felt that they were owed an endorsement just because they had completed seminary and needed a job. This is grievous. This is not the way of the Lord. We also discovered that some folks had no intention of contributing in a meaningful way to keep us funded to do what the Lord has called us (please see Our Services) and so, if these are your intentions, please do not apply for endorsement with us.
For a more robust discussion about this, please visit our Hints and FAQs page, and read Hint 11 . If you have questions about this, please feel free to call us at 877-CSC-CHAP (272-2427), and we are sincerely very open to your conversation. By the way, when you are out of work and applying for chaplaincy positions, we do not expect you to support the endorsing office with a portion of your tithe. You are not expected to give as you have no income from your endorsement. On the other hand, when you are a making six-digit income as a chaplain and you do not feel any obligation to help us stay in business with your donation, or you feel that your share should be no more than the cost of a newspaper subscription, something is amiss. Let’s talk. Come, let us reason together! We pray for and care about you. We hope and pray that this is reciprocated.
- Our PREREQUISTES for folks desiring to be military chaplain candidates to apply to us. The military expects that you have been accepted into a fully accredited seminary’s MDiv program or equivalent before you may apply to them. We do too. However, ALL M.Div. programs are not alike. Some are better and have better reputations than others. And that fact that a school has a quick, inexpensive program that is easy to get through quickly and even though they have graduated thousands with it, does not make that program good. [Think about it. Which is tastier? A gourmet seasoned-to-taste ground steak burger custom prepared for the customer or a mass-produced McDonald’s burger? Or who would you rather visit if you had a brain tumor? A Harvard Medical School neurosurgeon at the top of the class or a neurosurgeon with a medical degree from an easier-to-enter and earn private Christian university that graduates physicians with lesser GPAs?] Also, once you have finished your military career, how employable will you be in your next ministry with that degree? For a more robust discussion on the topic, please visit our Hints and FAQs page and read Hints 16, 21, and 22. If you have questions, please call!
- Ordination and Confidentiality. These are our expectations for folks desiring to be chaplains when applying to us. A number of folks have spoken with recruiters who have told them that they need not be ordained, just endorsed to be selected as chaplains. While this is technically true of special religious faith groups who typically do not ordain nor have specific professional clergy (some Quakers, Mormons, Christian Scientists, etc.), this is not true of us or of most Christian faith groups. We DO EXPECT you to be ordained or licensed to be able to be endorsed with us.
The best place for your ordination is your OWN church. They know you best and presumably love you and care for you. [The best place is not a school (I am not sure how a Christian seminary can legally/ethically do so -- as in the New Testament, it was churches which ordain, not schools!).] And since we are not a church, but an endorsing organization that serves hundreds of congregations and networks of churches, we do not ordain either. BUT, our affiliated churches do. So please speak with your local congregation about licensing or ordaining you so that we can endorse. Or, if you prefer, we would be glad to speak with them on your behalf.
If you are a member of a church which cannot ordain you for whatever reason, speak with us and we likely will be able to introduce you to one of our many, many congregations which would love to ordain and sponsor you. Most of our affiliated churches have a heart for chaplains! For a listing, please see our Member Groups page, and feel free to speak with us. And do not Google “quick ordinations” and get ordained on paper by ordination mills who care nothing for you, but just want your annual fees! We hope you will want a quality, life-long, real and meaningful pastoral relationship.
By the way, the purposes for licensing and ordination are for a number of Christian leaders to affirm officially that which God has already done – that is, call you into His service! And in the eyes of the government and law, licensing and ordination carry with it certain legal protections for you and any of your clients having CONFIDENTIAL conversations with you. You have the SAME level of confidentiality and sacred communication as a Roman Catholic priest. For more information on this topic, please visit our Hints and FAQs page, and read Hint 5 .
- We are not political. We do not care about race, gender, and we don't ask chaplains about sexual orientation or their spouses. We are not endorsing their spouse. The chaplaincy applicant for our endorsement must identify as a Christ-following Christian. We prefer that all of our chaplains are able to care and minister to all, period. That was Jesus' model of ministry. He did not reject folks who came to Him. People rejected Him. Most institutions prefer to hire chaplains who are willing and able to care for all.
- Is this person competent to minister;
- For military applicants, is this person ready to serve successfully with whichever service branch and component [We do not want to set-up them or the chaplaincy for failure];
- Is this person willing and able to serve under the leadership of a gay, married, woman rabbi/chaplain or such a commander [military] or manager [civilian chaplaincy]? [This question covers a LOT of territory, and this IS a reality today!];
- Is this person willing to serve fairly and without bias as a supervising chaplain over subordinate chaplains who are very unlike their supervisor;
- Does this person have the right motivation(s) and understanding of chaplaincy;
- Is this person likely to prove themselves a great asset to the chaplaincy; and
- For military applicants, is this person competitive considering the current philosophies of the accessions board?
What matters to us are:
If we have a "no" response to any of these, we do not want to endorse. We do not want to misrepresent these applicants to the accessions board or misrepresent the chaplaincy to them. Some applicants come to us thinking it is their "right" as Americans to be missionaries and evangelists to America’s institutions or the military on the taxpayers' dime. They are sincerely mistaken. Also, occasionally we are approached by would-be chaplains who have a profoundly antiquated understanding of chaplaincy, especially military chaplaincy. Their understanding is nostalgic; perhaps it is derived from something that they have seen in old WWII movies or like this 10-minute documentary from the US Holocaust Museum on Army chaplains from that era:
Please make no mistake about it. Today’s military chaplaincy is hardly recognizable with that film clip!
- Now click on the Application Page and apply! Hint: PLEASE do not wait and expect that we can endorse you after only a week or two with the application in our hands. We like to thoroughly review applications, check references, etc., and that takes some time, depending on the application and its complexity. We are very ACTIVE endorsers and we often are out of the office visiting our chaplains and attending conferences – sometimes a week or two per month! If you have questions, please call!
At this time, we have over 300 chaplains and chaplain candidates serving the Lord with distinction -- and we are growing rapidly. We hope that you will be among our next group of newly endorsed and serving endorsees!