The church calls chaplains to extend the ministry of Christ to people in institutional and specialized settings such as universities and the military. The Office of Chaplaincy Ministries coordinates that ministry for the Christian Reformed Church.
Currently there are 82 active full-time and 20 part-time chaplains. Many of our chaplains hold leadership positions in the institutions where they work and in professional organizations. This reputation for excellence in pastoral care is a wonderful gift from God.
Retirements have reduced the number of active-duty military chaplains to one in the Canadian Army, two in the U.S. Air Force, five in the U.S. Army, and five in the U.S. Navy. One National Guard chaplain is serving in Iraq, and one Naval Reserve chaplain serves at Central Command. The need for more military chaplains is urgent.
Secular institutions hire chaplains to minister to the spiritual or religious needs of their employees. Our mandate is to accept this call and send ministers to attend to these people.
One of our senior chaplains, Jim Kok, has written and published a new book, The Miracle of Kindness, in honor of the Crystal Cathedral’s 50th anniversary. We rejoice with Jim and thank him for his leadership.
Chaplains require additional training beyond the education provided by the seminary. The Christian Reformed Church has established a special account in the Christian Reformed Foundation called the Chaplain Development Fund. Chaplaincy Ministries will use this fund to provide stipends for chaplains-in-training, subsidy for salaries, and support for professional training and development. Churches will be asked to receive a special offering this year for the Chaplain Development Fund.
Chaplaincy Ministries provides the following services:
promotes and develops chaplaincy ministry in churches
helps individuals assess their potential to become chaplains
endorses chaplains for ministry
provides professional support and development
provides pastoral support and supervision