in another thread it came up that I am a Catholic, lay hospital chaplain. There were a few questions so I thought I would start a new thread.
*one thing that came up was the qualifications: *
To be a board certified chaplain in the Catholic Church (it's diffrent for other faiths) you have to have at least a Master's in theology or related field then do 4 units of what we call Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). It's like 4 semesters of clinical work. That's what I am working on right now. I am on my second year of clinical training. The certifying body is called the National Association of Catholic Chaplains and is a USCCB organization. There is no requirement for Priesthood or Deaconate- after all, if there was, there wouldn't be many Catholic chaplains.
Those are some high qualifications is it a paid position?
Yes. part or full time. Full time is usually salaried.
**I always thought a hospital chaplain had to be a priest to administer last rights. **Well, I can not perform the Sacraments. So, if Sacrament of the Sick is needed I call a priest. Priests usually "round" hospitals and get to most of the Catholic patients without a chaplain ever calling them. The other thing to remember is that a chaplain ministers to more than just their faith. I'd say maybe 20 % of the people I see are Catholic. My faith informs how I minister and meet people where they are but I am not in the conversion/ saving people for Jesus business. That is not what chaplains do. My goal is to help people understand their spiritual situation re: distress vs hope and coping mechinisms, providing a presence of the spiritual, advocating for the importance of the spiritual component of healing...ect among other things.