Chaplain Certification Program

The Commission on Special Ministries (CSM) has established a program for chaplain certification. This program has been initiated because many healthcare facilities, jails, prisons, and military bases are tightening their requirements for ministry in their facilities, especially if the pastor or layperson wants to reach out to non-members.

The Chaplain Certification Program is responsible for the implementation of the program. Chaplain certification means that the applicant has fulfilled all of the class and clinical requirements for certification.

For certification, the Commission on Special Ministries offers training through the Chaplain Certification Program. Courses may be taken online or through Martin Luther College. Some requirements may be met by previous courses and/or experiential learning credit. Chaplain Certification students can specialize by enrolling in one of two elective courses, one on the special chaplaincy requirements for jail/prison ministry and the other on ministry to the military.

For some chaplaincy work, an institution may require at least one unit Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at an accredited institution. CPE offers some practical clinical experience. Such programs are usually offered through hospitals or other healthcare facilities.

The Chaplain Certification program is offered through Martin Luther College under the direction of WELS Special Ministries. The MLC Chaplaincy Web site also answers Frequently Asked Questions concerning the Chaplain Certification Program.

WELS Chaplain Certification resources are available on the WELS Resource Center.

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