Surprisingly, a chaplin job description is not only tied to the Christian faith. Other religions such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, et cetera do have their own chaplains too. Nevertheless, the most common of them all is a Christian Chaplain. A Chaplain put is a minister that serves in a secular organization such as hospitals, prisons, schools, military, sports organizations, universities, etc. His major work is to be a spiritual or moral guide to concerned persons and perform administrative duties when the need arises. Unlike a pastor, his work cuts across all faiths.
The first word pops into anyone’s mind whenever the word ‘chaplain’ is mentioned is “Pastor.” Even though there is a thin line that separates a pastor from a Chaplain, it can be said that the two offices perform different functions and thus, have their relevance in their respective fields.
Who Is A Chaplin? Chaplin Job Description:
A Chaplain is a specially trained minister who provides spiritual or emotional guidance or counseling to those in need and serves in various organizations apart from a church. These organizations include prisons, schools, military units, sports organizations, businesses, labor unions, police departments, hospitals, private chapels, universities, intelligence agencies, etc.
A Chaplain’s duty differs from a pastor because he/she ministers to the secular congregation and is not restricted based on denomination. At the same time, a pastor’s focus is on his congregation on most occasions. Contrary to popular opinion, chaplaincy cuts across all faiths. A non-Christian chaplain must have a relevant degree in sociology, social science, social work, psychology, health and well being, counseling, philosophy, humanistic pastoral care, world religions, and other relevant religious fields.
A chaplain is specially trained to intervene in crisis and minister to people in traumatic situations. He must be adequately skilled in effective listening, have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, be patient, tolerant, and flexible, demonstrate empathy, and have great organizational skills. Without the above skills, his work as a Chaplain will most likely produce unfruitful results.
He can either work as a volunteer staff or be paid. In the United Kingdom, paid chaplaincy jobs are commonly found in schools, universities, sports clubs, the army, police and fire service, prison, and colleges. New chaplains are paid in the range of €22,500 – €25,000. After five years of experience, such chaplains will be upgraded to €30,000. Senior Chaplains are paid within the range of €31,000 – €38,000. While voluntary services are commonly found in hospitals or health care institutions.
Role Of A Chaplin:
A chaplain’s role is broader than that of the clergy, imam, rabbi, or another religious leader. This is because it cuts across all fields and faiths. Majorly, his work is to provide spiritual and emotional assistance to those in need, either in schools, prisons, the army, hospitals, etc. The following roles will be briefly discussed;
In HOSPITALS/HEALTH CARE CENTERS, chaplains work hand in hand with the staff to provide emotional or spiritual succor, counseling (grief/bereavement counseling, presurgical and post-surgical counseling, staff counseling to those in need. They are also responsible for crisis intervention, perform rituals (especially the last rites on a dying soul), conduct rounds in the wards, maintain a clean worship space, etc. Their work is not restricted to patients alone, but families and friends too. Due to their work nature, a hospital chaplain in the United States is expected to be certified by recognized bodies such as the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, Association of Professional Chaplains, or National Association of Jewish Chaplains. As clearly seen, such certification is dependent on one’s faith, as any chaplain could be a faithful follower of any religion in so far as he possesses the requisite skills.
A Chaplain’s work in PRISONS cannot be overrated. Because prison is a place where convicted persons are kept to be punished as well as rehabilitated, a prison chaplain must perform the following duties to a certain amount of degree; providing spiritual comfort and support for inmates, organize counseling sessions, leading religious services, supervise inmates to maintain security, administer and coordinate religious programs.
Schools are not left out as well. This is because school is one of the agents of socialization, and as such, the work of a chaplain in this environment cannot be overemphasized. They are responsible for promoting the student’s well-being, enhance their beliefs, values, morals, ethics, and religion, help them in their spiritual and provide answers to conflicting issues in their personal, spiritual or academic life.
In the MILITARY ZONE, the work of the chaplain is to guide the spiritual and moral compass of the soldiers, pray for them for the repose of slain soldiers as well as for concerned persons in need of one, perform religious rites, conduct worship services, provide confidential counseling and doling out advice to commanders on religious matters.
Coming into the four walls of the UNIVERSITY, a chaplain provides counseling to an open ear in times of stress or grief, leads campus worship services, helps in the psychological and mental building of students in times when they seem confused about the complexities of life. He can also be employed to serve in the school’s administration.
The work of a chaplain in a SPORTS ORGANIZATION is to support and care for the team in saddening circumstances such as grief, trauma, sickness, and injury, being available at the sports ground or any sport-related event, providing referrals when needed, and assisting in building a healthy, stable and caring community.
“The role of the Chaplain” – www.cuh.nhs.uk, accessed 22/01/2021
“What is a Chaplain?” – www.hc.machaplains.org/what-is-a-chaplain accessed 22/01)2021
“Chaplain Job Profile” – www.prospect.ac.uk/job-profiles/chaplain accessed 22/01/2021
“What does a Chaplain do?” – www.learn.org/articles accessed 22/01/2021
“What is the difference between a Chaplain and a Pastor?” – www.work.chron.com accessed 21/01/2021
“Hospital Chaplain – Explore Health Care” www.college.mayo.edu accessed 21/01/2021
“Role of Chaplain in School” – www.det.wa.edu.au accessed 22/01/2021
“Role of a prison Chaplain” – www.prisonchaplain.wordpress.com accessed 22/01/2021
“Club Chaplains” – www.hillsknight.com/club-chaplains accessed 22/01/2021
Also read How to become a Pastor