Hello from Orange County, California

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by samuelc79, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. samuelc79

    samuelc79 New Member

    Hello Everyone

    I joined joined the board today after lurking for many years..... After completing my B.A. at the University of California Irvine in 2002, I taught English in South Korea from 2003 to 2012. After returning to California in 2012, I completed 4 semesters of seminary (M.Div.) at 2 different seminaries. I have applied for admission to brick and mortar Social Work programs. I have also applied for admission to Liberty University's online M.Div. program. Will Liberty University's M.Div. allow me to be employed as a hospital chaplain? I know that Liberty University's M.Div. is not ATS-accredited.....
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Sam - You may have noticed that the huge boldface letters don't result in faster or better quality responses. In any case, I suggest that you contact a few local hospitals and simply ask them what qualifications are required. In the meantime you can read this . . .

    Hospital Chaplain: Job Description and Education Requirements

  3. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I've not seen a hospital chaplain job that required ATS accreditation. Why, you may ask?

    Because some denominations don't use ATS to accredit their seminaries. Jewish seminaries and yeshivas, for example, are typically not accredited by ATS (Hey, maybe there's an outlier somewhere).

    You'll probably need a degree but most secular institutions (at least those who have postings that I've reviewed) are somewhat open (many simply state "an accredited M.Div. or equivalent."). To me, that opens the door for ABHE, TRACS, ATS, AARTS, RA and maybe even DEAC. Ultimately, however, it would be up to the hospital where you want to work to determine the qualifications they seek.

    What you really need is CPE. It looks like there are some jobs for folks with 2 units. But four units seems to be the standard. And CPE takes some time to earn. Once you get at least one unit of CPE you can apply for a clinical residency (you work full time as a chaplain, earn up to 3 units while there and earn a modest stipend for your efforts but it is a fixed term, not a permanent job).

    So, can you get a chaplain job with an M.Div. from Liberty? Absolutely. Will you get a chaplain job without CPE and an M.Div. from Liberty? Most likely not. But the same can be said of an M.Div. from any other school as well. There is no legal requirement for a chaplain to have CPE but a lot (I'll even say "most") of hospitals require it.
  4. samuelc79

    samuelc79 New Member

    Thank you so much for your reply
  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    That's right. Jewish seminaries and yeshivas have their own accreditor, AARTS.
  6. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Liberty University Liberty University Christian College Education offers MDiv degrees with many different majors and concentrations, includimng Community Chaplaincy, Healthcare Chaplaincy, and Military Chaplaincy. All three majors are offered in both residential and online formats, and all three are also offered in thesis and non-thesis mode.
  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Yes, there are some DETC seminaries.
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Well, Orthodox Jewish seminaries have AARTS. And there are plenty of them (particularly centered around NYC and Northern NJ).

    The Jewish Theological Seminary of America (Conservative Judaism) is RA with no faith based accreditor. The same is true for Hebrew Union College (Reform) and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (Reconstructionist). While they have significantly fewer colleges than the Orthodox, the Orthodox movement makes up around 10% of affiliated Jews in the U.S.

    Graduates of JTS's Rabbinical program are automatically admitted to the movement's Rabbinical Assembly which has ecclesiastical endorsement authority for military and VA chaplains. The same is true of HUC (though their rabbinical program graduates join the Central Conference of American Rabbis which, like the Rabbinical Assembly, is an authorized endorsing agent for military chaplains).

    Before I delve too far into this rabbit hole, my point is that graduates of these highly respectable institutions work as chaplains in hospitals, the military and for the government (VA, BOP etc) and they have absolutely no faith based accreditor. They are just RA just like Liberty. If you want to work at a VA hospital you are required to get ecclesiastical endorsement from a recognized organization in addition to the CPE requirement that I mentioned earlier.

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