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Sample Job Description -- Chaplain


Position Title: Chaplain¹
Responsible To: Director of Pastoral Care Department
Department: Pastoral Care



The chaplain is a full member of the healthcare team who provides for the pastoral needs of patients/residents/clients, families, and staff Specifically, the chaplain, through professional training and certification, assists patients/residents/clients to understand more fully life's events as they relate to their spiritual and emotional well-being. From the patient's/resident's/client's life experience, the chaplain may offer prayer or reflection.



  A. Education

1. A bachelor's degree is required.
2. The chaplain has completed a curriculum of theological classes and displays skills and competencies in pastoral care.

  B. Training

1. Certification by an appropriate clinical pastoral agency
2. One year of pastoral experience
3. Ability to articulate the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities
4. Ability to lead and coordinate prayer
5. Ability to facilitate group process

  C. Personal Requirements

1. Solid standing in the Church through ecclesiastical endorsement
2. Good physical and emotional health
3. Ability and stamina to minister to patients/residents/clients with varying physical and mental dysfunctions
4. Flexibility in work hours, programs, and services
5. Ability and desire to work with clergy and volunteers of varying faith backgrounds
6. Experience in working as part of a team; good communication skills



The chaplain, through her or his daily ministry:
  A. Carries out the goals of the pastoral care department
  B. Facilitates the celebration of the sacraments as appropriate to his or her clerical status
  C. Organizes worship services in creative and ecumenical ways
  D. Offers religious and spiritual guidance to patients/residents/clients, staff, and administrators
  E. Regularly (as determined by goals and objectives) visits with all patients/residents/clients while daily giving
      priority to those in greatest need
  F. Is available to serve the families of deceased patients/residents/clients as required by follow-up guidance
  G. Participates in committees and patient/resident/client conferences to enhance the continuity of care
      to patients/residents/clients
  H. Establishes positive working relationships with all members of the health team as well as with the volunteers
  I. Keeps records as required
  J. Offers in-service programs regularly to staff
  K. Initiates and maintains communication with area clergy through consultation, notification of a parishioner's
     admission and discharge, and educational programming

¹The term chaplain, as used here, represents both men and women, ordained and nonordained, and when applicable, Catholics, Jews, and Protestants alike.