Board Certified Chaplain for Veterans Affairs (BCC-VA)
Board Certification - Veterans Affairs (BCC-VA) requires the applicant to demonstrate competencies in the areas of Theory and Practice, Professional Identity and Conduct, Professional Practice Skills, and Organizational Leadership. This certification is only available to ordained priests who work in a VA facility. BCC-VA is not an advanced certification beyond board certification. Rather, it is another option for obtaining initial board certification for those who qualify.
Professional competence is determined through written materials and an in-person interview with an Interview Team.
Applicants are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Qualifications and Competencies prior to working on their written materials.
Prerequisites to apply for BCC-VA:
- Be a Roman Catholic or member of one of the churches in union with Rome
- Be a member of the NACC at the Chaplaincy Ministry level
- Hold a Graduate Degree in theology, divinity, religious studies, pastoral ministry, pastoral studies, or spirituality from a CHEA accredited academic institution. Please visit the Graduate Theological Programs page, to view programs that satisfy NACC requirements for certification.
- Complete four (4) units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) from an ACPE accredited center
- Be an ordained priest
- Work in a Veteran's Affairs facility
- Successful completion of VIRTUS or similar training
For more information on eligible graduate degrees, degrees earned outside of the United States, CPE programs, and earning CPE equivalency, please see the BCC and BCC-VA Application Instruction Booklet.
Download, complete, and submit the application materials
Once you have met the prerequisites and are ready to apply for BCC-VA, you need to download the BCC and BCC-VA Application Materials and prepare your application portfolio. This download will contain the following:
- BCC and BCC-VA Application Instruction Booklet
- Application Form
- Templates for Letters of Recommendation
- Essay Templates
The BCC and BCC-VA Application Instruction Booklet will guide you through the application process and clearly outline all the requirements for your application portfolio. Applicants typically spend several months preparing their materials. The NACC highly recommends preparing your materials with the assistance of a mentor who is NACC board certified.
Prior to submitting your application materials, the Applicant must complete an eLearning module on the Ethical and Religious Directives published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and pass a ten (10) question Post-Test. The Applicant must successfully pass the test with a score of 80% or higher.
Application submission windows are Jan 4 – Feb 15 and Aug 4 – Sep 15 of every year. Click on the link below to submit your materials during the application window.
Interview with a panel
After your application materials are submitted, the NACC will review your portfolio to ensure that all submission requirements have been met.
If your application materials are approved, you will be scheduled for an interview with a 3-person Interview Team. Interviews are generally held 7 – 8 months following the submission of the application.
Final certification decision
After your interview, the recommendations of the Interview Team will be submitted to the NACC Certification Commission for a final decision. If you are not recommended for certification, you have the right to appeal the decision.
Let us help you get certified! For questions about certification or the application process, please email [email protected].