Students from schools all over west Michigan joined students at Calvin Seminary in March for the first Chaplaincy Fair, sponsored by the CRC’s Chaplaincy & Care Ministry and held at the seminary.
Several chaplains spoke to students about the field that includes military, hospital, hospice, nursing home, workplace and chaplains serving with police and fire departments, said Rev. Ron Klimp, director of the Chaplaincy & Care Ministry.
The day-long fair was held in response to the growing interest on the part of students to serving as chaplains after graduation.
In the CRC, the number of chaplains has been rising steadily over the last few years from about 10 percent of total seminary graduates to 15 percent today.
Klimp said reasons for the interest include the fact that chaplaincy is gaining a higher profile and students are experiencing a call to that field. Also, it is harder for seminary graduates to find positions in churches.
“The churches just aren’t growing and the need for graduates is not there like it used to be,” said Klimp. “So graduates are turning to and considering chaplaincy as a ministry.”
About the Author
Chris Meehan is a freelance writer and commissioned pastor at Coit Community Church in Grand Rapids, Mich.