IACC offers two types of membership:

  • Membership

Active Member Chaplain Qualifications

► An Active Member is a person actively involve in providing pastoral care and upholding Christian principles.

► The Active Member abides to the Standards and Code of Ethics of the International Association of Christian Chaplains.

► Have submitted an official application form for membership. Click here to download an official Application Form. Page 1 and Page 2

► Submitted the annual membership dues for non-BCC (U.S. $ 75)

  • Board Certification

Pathway for Board Certification

The International Association of Christian Chaplains, through a Peer Board Certification Committee, certifies chaplains who have met the personal, academic, pastoral, and professional requirements to the provision of high quality pastoral care (See "Common Standards for Board Certification" listed below). The certificate awarded by IACC attests that a chaplain has been regarded by his or her peers as one who meets high and rigorous professional and pastoral standards.

The board certification denotes a continuous commitment to excellence in providing spiritual services. The International Association of Christian Chaplains believes that the certification is continuing not terminal and contingent on active participation in a Pastoral Cell or Chapter.

I. General Requirements

► Actively involved in providing pastoral care that is consistent with a Christian vocation.
► Conforming to the Standards and Code of Ethics of the International Association of Christian Chaplains Inc. 
► Have submitted a completed official Application Form for membership. Click here to download an official Application Form. Page 1 and Page 2
► Submitted the annual membership dues for BCCs. (U.S. $ 95)

II. Ecclesiastical Requirements

► Have ordination, or license to function in a ministry of pastoral care. (Copy of the certificate of a letter of ordination or ministerial license must be submitted along with the official Application Form). 
► Have current faith group endorsement or its equivalent. (A recent letter from the endorsing agency must be submitted along with the official Application Form).

Click here to learn more about Ecclesiastical Endorsement.

III. Educational Requirements

► Have completed a college degree from an *accredited institution or its equivalent. (Copy of the diploma with final official transcripts needs to be sent to the office of IACC along with the application). 
► Have completed formal theological education (e.g., M.Div., Th.M., B.D., Licentiate of Sacred Theology) from accredited institutions or its equivalent. (Copy of the diploma with final official transcripts needs to be sent to the office of IACC along with the application packet).

IV. Professional and Clinical Training

► Have completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in the with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, The College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, or the Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education.

► Chaplains who are certified by others certifying societies of chaplains may receive certification with the International Association of Christian Chaplains upon submission of certificate or letter of certification along with the official IACC Application Form.

V. Ministerial and Pastoral Experience

► Have one year of ministerial experience beyond CPE residency program and beyond completion of formal theological training (e.g., M.Div., Th.M., Licentiate of Sacred Theology, B.D.) 

• This ministerial or pastoral experience must be a year of direct ministry with parishioners or clients or patients or residents or inmates or students. 
• The pastoral experience in a specialty of pastoral care and counseling may be used toward the one year experience.

VI. Peer and Work-supervisor Confirmation of Personal, Pastoral, Professional Competency in Pastoral Care

► A letter of recommendation from a peer or colleague attesting candidates' personal, pastoral and professional competency in pastoral care. (Letter must be addressed to IACC)
► A letter of confirmation from an immediate work-supervisor attesting candidates' personal, pastoral and professional competency in pastoral care. (Letter must be addressed to IACC)

VII. Personal and Pastoral Reflections' Essays

► An essay on personal experience related to pastoral calling. (Articulate your philosophy of life, and pastoral calling) 

► An essay on human encounters and pastoral events that have shaped applicants' personal life and ministry. (Articulate your understanding of human nature, and your theology of pastoral care).

►Within your submitted writings you need to address each of the "Common Standards of Board Certification" (See below).

VIII. Clinical Evaluations

► Include Clinical Pastoral Education Final Evaluations from CPE Supervisor(s) and own.

IX. Personal Interview with the Peer Board Certification Committee

► Receives confirmation from the Peer Board Certification Committee of the International Association of Christian Chaplains Inc.

► Receives Certificate as a Board Certified Chaplain

PLEASE MAKE (4) COPIES OF THE ENTIRE APPLICATION PACKET. RETAIN ONE COPY FOR YOUR RECORDS AND SEND THREE COPIES TO: The Peer Board Certification Committee. IACC. 5804 Babcock Rd. PMB. 189. San Antonio, Texas 78240-2134. USA.

Common Standards for Board Certification with International Association of Christian Chaplains - (2017 Revised Common Standards reflecting BCC changes with Association of Professional Chaplains.)

(For the following standards, candidates are to submit an essay for each - totaling 30 essays – ITP1 to OL5)

Section I: Integration of Theory and Practice

The candidate for certification will demonstrate the ability to:

ITP1: Articulate a theology of spiritual care that is integrated with a theory of pastoral practice.

ITP2: Incorporate a working knowledge of psychological and sociological disciplines and religious beliefs and practices in the provision of pastoral care.

ITP3: Incorporate the spiritual and emotional dimensions of human development into the practice of pastoral care.

ITP4: Incorporate a working knowledge of ethics appropriate to one’s professional context.

ITP5: Articulate a conceptual understanding of group dynamics and organizational behavior.

ITP6: Articulate how primary research and research literature inform the profession of chaplaincy and one’s spiritual/pastoral care practice.

Section II: Professional Identity and Conduct Competencies

The candidate for certification will demonstrate the ability to:

PIC1: Be self-reflective including identifying one’s professional strengthens and limitations in the provision of care.

PIC2: Articulate ways in which one’s feelings, attitudes, values and assumptions affect professional practice.

PIC3: Attend to one’s own physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

PIC4: Function in a manner that respects the physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual boundaries of others.

PIC5: Use one’s professional authority as a spiritual care provider appropriately.

PIC6:  Advocate for persons in one’s care.

PIC7: Function within the IACC Standards and Code of Ethics, and the Common Code of Ethics for Professional Chaplains.

PIC8: Communicate effectively orally and in writing.

PIC9: Present oneself in a manner that reflects professional behavior, including appropriate attire and personal hygiene.

Section III: Pastoral and Professional Practice Skills Competencies

The candidate for certification will demonstrate the ability to:

PPS1: Establish, deepen and end pastoral relationships with sensitivity, openness, and respect.

 PPS2: Provide effective pastoral/spiritual support that contributes to well-being of care-recipients, their families, and staff.

PPS3: Provide pastoral/spiritual care that respects diversity and differences including, but not limited to ability/disability, culture, gender, sexual orientation and spiritual/religious practices.

PPS4: Triage and manage crises in the practice of pastoral/spiritual care.

PPS5: Provide pastoral/spiritual care to persons experiencing loss and grief.

PPS6: Formulate and utilize spiritual assessments in order to contribute to plans of care.

PPS7: Provide religious/spiritual resources appropriate to the care of patients/clients/residents, families and staff.

PPS8: Develop, coordinate and facilitate public worship/spiritual practices appropriate to diverse settings and needs.

PPS9: Facilitate theological reflection for those in one’s care practice.

PPS10: Facilitate group processes, such as family meetings, post trauma, staff debriefing, and support groups.

PPS11: Document according to the caregiver’s context one’s pastoral/spiritual care effectively in the appropriate record.

Section IV: Organizational Leadership Competencies

The candidate for certification will demonstrate the ability to:

OL1: Promote the integration of pastoral/spiritual care into the life and service of the organization in which one functions.

OL2: Establish and maintain professional and interdisciplinary relationships.

OL3: Articulate an understanding of institutional culture and systems, and systemic relationships.

OL4: Support, promote, and encourage ethical decision-making and care.

OL5: Foster a collaborative relationship with community clergy and faith group leaders.

Requirements for the Maintenance of Board Certification:

In order to maintain status as a Certified Chaplain, the chaplain must submit "The Members Annual Up-Date Report Form" (click here) along with the following:

MNT1: Participate in a peer review process every fifth year.

MNT2: Document fifty (50) hours of annual continuing education. (Recommendation that written reading reports be included as continuing education. Also, personal therapy, spiritual direction, supervision, and/or peer review be acceptable options for continuing education hours.)

MNT3: Provide documentation every fifth year of current endorsement or of good standing in accordance with the requirements of one’s own faith tradition.

 MNT4: Be current in the payment of the IACC annual dues.

MNT5: Adhere to the IACC Standards and Code of Ethics and Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains.