National Center for Chaplain Development is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization which provides practical secular community support and emotional & spiritual assistance to emergency service workers, those in crisis, society and those persons in transition by meeting their needs.
Trained and licensed chaplains will provide counsel, education, advocacy, life improvement skills and recovery training, providing a bridge between the secular and spiritual environments of community life throughout the world.
By definition, a chaplain is simply a "minister in the workplace" which performs a secular purpose. These chaplains are clergy who usually serve in specialized settings such as first responder (law enforcement, EMS, military, etc.) and community (district attorney, schools, hospital, hospice, prisons, corrections, corporations, etc.). As specially trained clergy, they seek to encourage others while ministering to the whole person, addressing a person's spiritual, physical and emotional needs.
Chaplaincy is a bridge where both a secular and spiritual purpose is served within an organization and is a highly specialized ministry. Chaplains operate at the cutting edge where ministry and social structures intersect.
NCCD supports and develops chaplaincy by:
A chaplain ought to be a “force-multiplier” for an agency. Ministry of purpose goes beyond the traditional understanding of ministry of presence. To be a force-multiplier, a chaplain’s action must be deliberate in their support of the primary mission of their agency and provide proactive and responsive support to every member of the agency. Decisions ought to therefore be made on what mini
stry is appropriate while considering the unintended consequences and long-term effects of that ministry even while addressing the immediate ministry needs. Ministry, in any form, ought not to interfere with the mission of, or become a liability to, the agency.
A chaplain ought to be fully “present” to the person who is directly in front of them. This would mean a chaplain provides undivided attention (eyes, ears, non-verbal, etc.) to the person in order to serve them. To serve someone is to be present with them, to pay attention to them, to not make judgments or comments, to listen and be open. For a chaplain it is not always to be a human “doing” but to be a human “being.” Ministry of presence may simply mean not saying a word, just being there for another so that they are not alone in the midst of their crisis, grief or trauma. It is therefore also, at times, a ministry of silence.
The concept of peace (Shalom) is different from that of how most understand peace. Shalom means that every aspect of one’s life (physical, emotional, spiritual, cognitive, behavioral, financial, etc.) is in perfect harmony with God’s desire for their life. A chaplain’s ministry of peace is therefore, to empathetically walk with someone in their crisis to holistically assist restoring “peace” to their life, in a sacrificially loving way.
© 2016 National Center Chaplain Development