Friday, November 17, 2017

Lesson 3

Self Evaluation of Present Skills


Good Listener
Ability to "think outside the box"
Thirst for knowledge
Well rounded knowledge
Awareness that I know very little in the "Great Scheme of Things"
Ability to admit I don't know things


Aversion to attention  (in groups)
Confidence (or "unwillingness to do salesmanship"?)
Tendency to over-organise rather than do
Paper qualifications

Short plan (in progress already)

Exposure treatment to overcome shyness
Facilitating small group work to work on aversion to group speaking
Daily Planning - combats procrastination and the over-organisation compulsion
Working on paper qualifications by courses

Research your religion's qualifications for Chaplaincy

I'm not sure if I can say I "have a religion".  I believe in a Greater Power, that it is inherently Good and totally awesome.  :-). I would like to be an Interfaith Chaplain.

And…I'm not actually firghtened to say it…as a therapist for many years, I have found that "qualifications" and "registration" are, 90% of the time, a gimmick to gouge fees.  It doesn't take much research to find that an "organisation" or "directory" is linked to a "training centre" and will only list those having completed their training, professional supervision can only be performed by those members of those organisations, and supervisors must have taken their supervisor training course.  Not only that, but links to "reputable" organisations (such as training institutions and "registers of professionals", increase someones ranking in Google.  It doesn't take much to find out that that "Training School" has staff members who run "This Directory" which lists only their practices.  Unless you wish to pay the £100/yr registration fee and then pay £100 every couple months to their supervisor.  It only takes a couple "organisations" and an independent therapist is short of money to pay the rent.  I don't do it, and generally don't waste my time looking for bogus organisations so my website looks good.  Where is the honesty in that.  (It isn't a rant, it is a statement of opinion.)

But in the interest of doing the assignment, I have had a Google, and amongst all of the "Chaplaincy Training Schools/Registers", I did manage to find…...

(Varied Chaplaincy requirements would obviously vary by organisation and locality)

  • To work as a hospital chaplain, you'll need at least a master's degree in religion, pastoral counseling, divinity, or theology. Some employers prefer a doctorate degree. You'll also need 2-5 years of experience as clergy or chaplain and experience in palliative care and hospice. (

  • To become a Army Chaplain (US Army)
    • You must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement from your faith group. This endorsement should certify that you are:
    • A clergy person in your denomination or faith group.
    • Qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally to serve as a chaplain in the Army.
    • Sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel, their family members and civilians who work for the Army.
    • Educationally, you must:
      • Possess a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours.
      • Possess a graduate degree in theological or religious studies, plus have earned at least a total of 72 semester hours in graduate work in these fields of study.
    • Applicants for active duty or the National Guard MUST be U.S. citizens. Permanent residents can ONLY apply for the Army Reserve.
    • Be able to receive a favorable National Agency Security Clearance.
    • Pass a physical exam at one of our Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS).
    • A minimum of two years of full-time professional experience, validated by the applicant's endorsing agency (This requirement is not applicable to Army Reserve applicants.)
    • Must be at least 21 years of age, but younger than 42 at time of Regular Army commissioning or less than 45 at time of Army Reserve commissioning. Prior service applicants with at least 3 years of prior AFS or creditable USAR service must be younger than 47 at time of Army Reserve commissioning. 
  • UK Chaplaincy
    • National Health Service
      • Personal characteristics and skills
      • As a chaplain in the NHS, you'll need to be
        • willing to work with other faiths and people with no faith
        • able to work with staff, patients and families from all walks of life
        • flexible
        • caring and compassionate
        • able to work as part of a team with healthcare staff
  • You'll also need
    excellent communication, including listening, skills
    able to see things from another person's point of view
    good organisational skill

    Training and development 

    Chaplains new to the NHS have training which includes
    an introduction to healthcare chaplaincy
    spirituality and chaplaincy in a multi-faith context
    working in the NHS
    working with people who are mentally ill

    UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy

    Standard Criteria for Registration.

    Full Registration will be available to chaplains subject to the following criteria:

    • complete, accurate and contemporary personal record;
    • declaration of compliance with the UKBHC Code of Conduct and Continuing Professional Development requirements;
    • evidence of relevant qualifications and training. This would normally include:
      • evidence of study relevant to the applicants faith community or belief group such as, theology, religious studies, philosophy of religion and belief; 
      • a Board Accredited postgraduate chaplaincy qualification such as a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Chaplaincy; 
    • evidence of employment (honorary or salaried) in a healthcare chaplaincy post: this would normally be at a minimum of AfC5; or evidence of at least 6 months competent autonomous practice as a healthcare chaplain, for example in a voluntary chaplaincy placement supervised by a Board Registered healthcare chaplain;
    • evidence of a recognised or accredited status within a mainstream faith community or belief group, including the Humanist Society (UKBHC Competence 4.2.3.);
    • no known existing professional conduct issues;
    • payment of the relevant registration fee.

    Provisional / Student Registration will be available to chaplains subject to the following criteria:

    • Complete, accurate and contemporary personal record;
    • declaration of compliance with the UKBHC Code of Conduct and Continuing Professional Development requirements;
    • evidence of undertaking postgraduate chaplaincy study for example a Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma/MSc. in Healthcare Chaplaincy
    • evidence of at least 1 month's competent autonomous practice as a healthcare chaplain, for example in a voluntary chaplaincy placement supervised by a Board Registered healthcare chaplain.
    • evidence of a recognised or accredited status within a mainstream faith community or belief group, including the British Humanist Association (UKBHC, 2015; 4.2.3.) see guidance below.
    • no known existing professional conduct issues.

    The Chaplaincy Institute

    (This doesn't list qualifications per se, but gives an idea of the vast scope of Chaplaincy which would required varied skill sets)

    Types of Interfaith Ministries
    Interfaith ministry is a mix of established forms of ministry and cutting-edge possibilities that expand the boundaries of how one can be of service. Some ministries, such as hospital or hospice chaplaincy, offer a more traditional career path. Other emerging opportunities, such as eco-chaplaincy or animal chaplaincy, tend to be more entrepreneurial. 
    Whether in a traditional setting or one that is on the frontier of what ministry is becoming, the ability to provide care for people of any faith - and those with no faith tradition - will make Interfaith ministers a valuable asset in any number of contexts.  
    Below is a sampling of how some of ChI's ordained clergy are providing spiritual care and promoting peace, healing, harmony, and justice in the world. We hope their stories and forms of ministerial service will inspire you as you discern your own vocational path.  

    My advice to someone looking for a Chaplain would be the same as that I give to people looking for a therapist:

    Most importantly - Talk to several and choose someone who understands you and who you are comfortable to trust and and open and honest with.  Start your list by finding those who are at least registered with a couple ESTABLISHED and INDEPENDENT registers which have a published set of standards for membership.

    Hopefully this does't sound jaded.  But I find that a therapeutic relationship, and am sure that a spiritual relationship, is best based on honesty and transparency.

Lesson 2

Describe someone you know who has the Divine Mark.  What set them apart?

This is a more difficult question than it seems.  Over many years, I have known varied "Ministers"  of varied Denominations.  Thinking back, I cannot recall any who I thought at the time had the "Divine Mark".  Of course, I generally had no reason to have a lot of contact with them on a personal basis.  That they were eloquent speakers and held conviction in their words was apparent.

On the other hand, I have met people who seem to have a deep inner peace, a serenity and who follow a calling of healing, or ministering in a secular way.  It is almost like an aura they give off - of love, trust, faith, and inner peace.

Has anyone observed the mark in you?  Write down what they have said?

It seems a bit presumptuous to presume that someone would have done so.  No-one has ever come up to me and told me they have.

They have said I am easy to trust, easy to speak to, have a sense of peace about me, am honourable, am the kindest person they have ever known (that is probably the best compliment I've ever been paid - being called honourable is the second.).  

Whether that is having the mark?  I don't know….I think of it as just an effort to spread some goodness and joy in the world.

Consider your calling.  Describe it in a paragraph or two.

"Calling".  It's such a "committed" word.  I don't know what my calling is.  Does anyone know it for a FACT?  Or do they think "That MUST be it!" and continue on that path, Faith guiding them?

I'm a therapist.  I've always been the Agony Aunt, so I decided to finally retrain and get paid for it.  :-). I'm a nurturer and genuinely love (most) people.  Those I don't love, I still tend to try to understand them.  I don't analyse people's minds or pasts or what their childhoods were, nor pretend to.  I help them make changes - to figure our what it is they want to change, and help devise a plan to make the changes and help them practice the new behaviour until it (hopefully) becomes part of them.

But mostly, I make them believe in themselves.  I tell them, "I am just the biggest cheerleader in the world".  And work with them until they believe in themselves as much as I do.  I pass skills that enable them to empower themselves.  Once they are empowered enough to feel they are not lost, they can make better choices.  Choices which are guided by THEIR beliefs and not what they have always been taught they "should believe".  I am sure that people are inherently good and kind, although it's not "cool" to be so.  I show them that that is ok too - as we are our own worst critic.

So….I help others help themselves.  When others feel well and happy, they help others.  So, I suppose my calling is to make the world a slightly better place by helping people see the good in it and themselves.  When they can do that, they open themselves to exploring areas which bring joy and enlightenment.

Is it a "calling"?  I still wouldn't know to call it that.  Is it what makes me happy?  Yes.  :-)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lesson 1

I'm Don Kinnier.
Currently I serve as the chaplain for a funeral home in South Central Pennsylvania and on the music and worship staff
of a United Methodist Church, in the same area.
I have worked at the funeral home as both organist and a general assistant for about ten years.
Several years ago the funeral directors were finding it difficult to locate ministers to work with families who had no church affiliations.
(There was a tendency of a number of ministers to proselytize rather than eulogize and it left the mourners shaking their heads and wondering
what had just happened.)
I mentioned to the funeral director, during a trip back from an interment, that I was ordained.
Based on my ordination and a fairly well honed skill set for working with people experiencing upset and grief,
they asked me to serve as their company chaplain. I have been working with grieving families to, compose obituaries, help plan meaningful services and to assist in
getting them thru, what for most folks can be, a very difficult time.

I am taking this course, and others, to fill in the areas where I know I need additional work and to discover what I 'don't know that I don't know.'

From a spiritual point of view I associate most closely with the teachings of Jesus though not with the religion of Christianity.
I see that there is truth in all religious practices and that no religious practice has all of the truth.
Even though I serve in a Methodist Church, my views are more liberal and closer to those of the United Church of Christ.

Both the Methodist Church and The UCC have very active programs of chaplain's ministries,
with representation in the military, law enforcement, medical and business sectors. That said, in order to
be a Chaplain within either denomination you must first be a university and seminary graduate and be ordained in the denomination.

The work of non-denominational and inter-faith chaplains is extremely important in our society. With a decline in church membership
and a shift in beliefs away from the supernatural aspects of many religions, the availability of chaplains capable of ministering to people regardless of where they
are spiritually or emotionally helps to fill a very real void. As a funeral chaplain, I have no mandate to bring people to God. In fact my mandate is just the opposite,
and that is to bring God (regardless of name) to people and help them to connect with something larger than themselves.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Lesson 2

Describe someone you know who has the Divine Mark. What set them apart?

- My biological mother and her husband both had "something different" about them that I picked up on when I first got to know them in late 2014 and early 2015. They had a special kind of peace and joy that i didn't know was the fruits of the spirit.This ultimately led me to my new Christian faith and journey. I have observed this in other people, then asked them if they were Christians. They always say yes.

Has anyone observed the mark in you? Write down what they have said?

- I'm not totally sure, my adoptive mother told me I acted like an "old soul" as a baby, which may have been a Godly manifestation of some kind. I can say that I was "pulled" by God towards spiritual life many years ago, as if by a predestined plan. I didn't see it as a Divine plan until recently.

Consider your calling. Describe it in a paragraph or two.

I feel continuously pulled towards prayer and spiritual contemplation. I also feel drawn towards unbelievers or those of little faith, in a very sympathetic way. It's very new and I'm still trying to allow for Divine guidance instead of my own. I see myself involved in some kind of prayer ministry, but don't know yet how to begin that. I had an experience once in a supermarket where I was all of a sudden "pulled" to pray for a woman I saw but didn't know. I panicked and the "moment of opportunity" faded away. I felt very convicted and sorry to God for failing. I hope to be put to that kind of test in the future, in order to fulfill that duty.

-Zack G.-

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lesson 19

Tool Belt
- Business cards, I often find I do run out and when I need them they are not there so toad e amount of 25 should make sure I don't run out. 
- Small calendar and notepad
-Breath mints I like that ideal I will have to include them.

Tool Box
- Laptop computer.
-a raincoat and umbrella since I liv in a rainy area and the weather always changes.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Lesson 18

1. Stressor points
    a.  Wanting  to please al the people.
    b.  Finding time for my own lone time to worship.
    c.  Over scheduling by not being able to say "NO"
2.  Week
    .a.  Busy between 11-4 daily
3.    My Plan
    a.  Leave bigger gaps
    b.  Schedule more conveniently. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Lesson 17

1.  I am only accountable to God, in my ministry and personnal life.
2.  I don't have  a mentor, but would love to have one.
3.  My plan would be to visit other church's in the area and get an idea on thier belief system and maybe find the right mentor.