As members of the International Association of Christian Chaplains we are committed to the Christian Ethics of cooperation, pastoral and professional growth, equality, diversity, human justice and grace. We affirm and promote the value, dignity and worth of each person we encounter in our ministry. In following the model Jesus Christ established for caring for people we covenant to:
► Meet people where they are supporting them on their own faith journeys rather than imposing specific religious traditions.
► Be compassionate and graceful to all seeking pastoral care.
► Take a prophetic role in ministry but never condemning people.
► Speak with authority but always in love.
► Affirm faith responses and provide spiritual support in response to people's receptivity and spiritual hunger.
► Relate with people in a manner that affirms their value.
► Provide pastoral care considering each person's uniqueness and individuality along with the role they may fulfill in a system of relationships.
► Promote dialogue rather than monologue, understanding that pastoral care is done with people rather than to people.
► Invite engagement instead of passive receptivity.
►Demonstrate a holistic respect of people and their cultural background.
► Be persuasive but not coercive or manipulative, accepting and respecting people's trust.
► Not exploiting pastoral relationships to meet their own needs at others' expense.
► Give people the freedom to ignore or reject the help offered by them.
► Maintain a community dedicated to the ministry of healing, sustaining, reconciling, and guiding God's people.
I. Human Dignity and Pastoral Relationship
1.1 Christian chaplains are ministers called to serve God's people as commissioned by the sacred Word of God. In Christian grace and duty they respond with love and compassion to people's needs in their whole existence. Christian chaplains embrace the understanding that human beings are created in the image of God with uniqueness and freedom to think, act and feel.
1.2 Christian chaplains are aware of their own belief system, core of values, cultural background, attitudes, and behaviors and how these apply in a diverse society and with the help of God avoid imposing on those who come for pastoral care.
1.3 Christian chaplains understand the high value and dignity of the human being and actively attempt to avoid allowing their personal needs to exploit others. They are aware of the power invested in them by their role and by the people seeking help.
1.4 Christian chaplains recognize the sacredness of human relationships and do not engage in sexual intimacies with those coming to them for spiritual support. Christian chaplains do not engage in sexual harassment.
1.5 Christian chaplains will actively attempt to understand and recognize the diverse cultural backgrounds of the people soliciting or receiving their pastoral care. Christian chaplains will not condone or engage in discrimination based on age, color, culture, disability, ethnic group, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, marital or sociological status or for any other reason.
1.6 Christian chaplains will provide pastoral care considering people's own spiritual resources to cope with physical, mental, social, and spiritual challenges.
II. Confidentiality and Pastoral Relationship
2.1 Christian chaplains will respect the right that seekers of pastoral care have to control the amount of personal information they want to disclose. They will respect people's right to privacy and avoid unwarranted disclosures of confidential information. When appropriate they inform seekers of the difference between privileged information that may be confidential and threats which may be reported. The Christian chaplain takes the initiative to clarify her or his limits concerning privileged information.
2.2. Christian chaplains providing pastoral care to minors or to individuals who cannot decide by themselves will consult and seek consent from the parents or guardians.
2.3 Christian chaplains will obtain permission from the people to whom they provide pastoral care before taking notes or electronically recording pastoral encounters. Christian chaplains are responsible for securing the safety and confidentiality of any pastoral encounter records they create, maintain, transfer, or destroy whether the records are written, taped, computerized, or stored in any other medium.
III. Chaplain's Competence and Pastoral Relationship
3.1 Christian chaplains embrace the need of maintaining high standards of pastoral and professional competence in ministry. Christian chaplains actively strive to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.
3.2 Christian chaplains have a responsibility to read, understand, and follow the Standards and Code of Ethics of the International Association of Christian Chaplains.
3.2 Christian chaplains are committed to continue their pastoral and personal formation to be better equipped to serve God's people.
3.3. Christian chaplains recognize their boundaries of competence referring to others professionals as they see necessary.
3.4 Christian chaplains in teaching positions will use their pastoral skills and human awareness to uplift those under their educational care avoiding emotional, physical, social and spiritual harm at all cost.
IV. Procedures for Processing Ethical Violations
Christian chaplains embrace the principle that a community comes together not to destroy their members but to build and restore each other. Therefore, the International Association of Christian Chaplains will not engage in activities intended to harm pastoral care providers. Following the biblical counsel, the International Association of Christian Chaplains will “not entertain an accusation or complaints against an elder (Chaplain) unless it is brought by two or three reliable witnesses.” In the event of an unethical violation IACC will follow the process of restoration and redemption recounted in the Christian Bible.
"Be an example to the believers in word,
in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity"
(1 Tim. 4:12.).