Q:

How long does it take to become a chaplain?

A:

Quick Answer

Program length varies by school, with some programs requiring just 48 semester credit hours beyond an undergraduate degree and others requiring more. To become a provisional associated certified chaplain, 48 semester credit hours and two units of clinical pastoral education are required.

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Full Answer

Provisional board-certified chaplaincy requires an undergraduate degree, 72 semester credit hours of theological graduate work and four units of clinical pastoral education. Either no work experience or less than 2,000 hours of work experience is required.

To become a board-certified chaplain, or BCC, candidates must have an undergraduate degree, complete 72 semester credit hours of theological education in a graduate program and four units of clinical pastoral education, along with 2,000 hours of work experience.

To become an associate certified chaplain, candidates must have an undergraduate degree from a CHEA-accredited school, and then obtain a theological degree from an accredited school, along with 2,000 hours of work experience.

All chaplaincy degrees require that candidates meet a minimum of 20 professional chaplain competencies. This is in addition to any other work experience required. All degrees require current ordination or commissioning that allows the candidate to function as a chaplain and current letters of support or endorsement form the candidate’s recognized faith group.

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