Monday, April 30, 2012

Re: Master of Chaplaincy Studies

Chaplaincy Studies - Chapter 2
My Pastor has the Divine Mark. He is caring, intelligent and has a peace and joy that never leaves him.
No one has ever said exact words (Divine Mark) but I do always hear there is something different about my personality and attitude, cheerful, always smiling, peace, easygoing.
I know God has called me into his Ministry. I have a desire in my heart of learning and growing my relationship and to help others in their relationship with the Lord.
Chapter 3
My skills include great listening and communication. I am empathetic. I love learning and have an ability to read people. I am a people person and a people watcher. I love to help and encourage people. I am a leader and love to teach others. I love the Lord and love to share my testimony and allow people to observe my testimony through my character.
In order to become a Nazarene Chaplain in the healthcare field you have to be ordained have 4 units of clinical pastor education and obtain ecclesiastical endorsement from chaplain services with church of Nazarene.

Another Lesson from another Minister

Active listening skills can and will fuel our social, emotional, and our professional relationships, and there have been studies that prove that listening is a skill we can learn.  Ordinary conversations emerge on a deeper level, as do our relationships, when we listen. We foster the skill in others by acting as a model for positive, as well as effective communication. This can help in the ministry to provide peace of mind to the counselee that the chaplain really cares, having taken the time from his schedule to sit and listen to the counselee.


Re: Master of Chaplaincy Studies Lesson 4

I don't know any military chaplains any more, so I took some time and studied up on the ULC's stance on the subject. According to my findings, there has been at least a few ULC ordained ministers who have entered chaplaincy service for the military.

According to information about the requirements for chaplaincy services for the US Army (source:, there are several prerequisites to becoming a chaplain in the military. These include possession of a baccalaureate degree (120+ hours) and a graduate degree with 72 field hours. In addition to these, there is also the requirement to obtain ecclesiastical endorsement from your faith group. I spoke with President Andre Hensley about the Universal Life Church's standing on the subject, and he told me that the ULC ministers who have gone into military chaplaincy service have obtained third-party ecclesiastical endorsement. The military maintains a record of third-party endorsers. Universal Life Church does not provide this endorsement because they are not, nor have they been, registered as an endorser for the military services. President Hensley assures me, that if the need were to arise, that the church could register.

I can speak from experience on the tasks and lifestyle of military chaplain. I knew of and met with several military chaplains during my time in the United States Navy. My experiences were few and random but life-changing. One of the chaplains I can remember well was Lt. Gregory at the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Pensacola, Florida. During my time at A-School (AOA), the chaplain would show up on occasion and we had the opportunity to meet with him.

Aaron N.

Chaplaincy Studies Lesson 7

1. We do not have any work place chaplains with our church. The only chaplains we offer are in colleges, and then that's only two.  I don't know either of them personally, I'm sure with some time, i'll eventually get to know them.
2. There are a few places close to where  I live that a chaplain would be useful. There is the police and Fire departments across the street, the camp grounds down the block, and then the truck stop just up the road. I am looking into all of these to see if maybe I can be of some help.

Rev. Ron
Universal Life Church Seminary

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Re: Master of Chaplaincy Studies Lesson 14

Rev. Ron's personal Chaplaincy requirements.

1 We celebrate Christmas, Easter, passover, and as former U.S. Marine I often have a service for veterans on veterans day, and memorial day.
2. My policy on marriage ceremonies as a chaplain:
     a. the couple MUST complete six (6) sessions in premarital counseling (as a couple)
     b.  Groom to be must complete at least two (2) sessions alone
     c.  Bride to be must complete at least two (2) sessions alone
If couple wants counseling done by someone else, and wedding done by me, a counseling certificate must be provided BEFORE wedding will be provided.

One of the lessons from the ULC Seminary Chaplaincy program.

Master of Chaplaincy Studies

Crystal Curasi
ULC Chaplaincy Program
chapter 5
It varies from day to day. This means it's interesting for those who choose varieties.
7:00 – 8:30 Check emails and correspondence
8:30 – 9:00 Review patient census and plan for visitation
9:00 – 9:30 Called to ER
9:30 – 11:30 Visiting patients (Contacts, spiritual assessments, inter-disciplinary meetings, etc.)
11:30 – 12:00 Attending worship
12:00 -12:30  Lunch
12:30 -  1:00  Reading chaplain materials
1:00 – 3:00 visitation
3:00 – 4:00 meeting with colleagues on pastoral care issues
4:00 – 4:30 Review the day's progress
This policy has hospital-wide application including community clergy.
To outline the purpose and major services of Pastoral Care Services, thus enabling effective coordination with other patient care departments. The department provides an on-going service of offering emotional and spiritual support to patients, their families, and hospital employees. The chaplains endeavor to support the individual's spiritual resources, promote peace of mind and help establish emotional stability as part of the healing team.
Pastoral Care Services is the hospital's primary source of offering emotional and spiritual support for patients, their families and hospital employees and providing guidance and direction relevant to the spiritual climate of the institution as a whole.
Pastoral Care Services is concerned with the total person on the basis of the understanding that there is an interdependence of spirit, mind and body. Personnel of Pastoral Care shall offer their ministry on an interfaith basis. Hospital staff, patients' families/friends and community clergy are encouraged to make referrals to the Pastoral Care Services.
A. Major Services:
1. To respond to crisis situations
2. To visit patients scheduled for procedures
3. To visit referrals daily
4. To visit new admissions
5. To make routine visits
6. To assess spiritual needs of patients
7. To support and encourage the hospital Prayer Ministry
8. To offer individual and group grief care
9. To attend inter-disciplinary and leadership meetings
10. To provide regular interfaith worship and other special services
11. To maintain contact with community clergy
B. Community Clergy/Patient Visitation
In order to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality rights of patients, community clergy who wish to visit patients shall be expected to follow the guidelines outlined below:
1. They may visit patients who are members of their specific congregation or faith, or patients who have specifically requested their services. Visits will be in compliance with confidentiality laws.
2. At the patient's request, Pastoral Care Services will contact community clergy and pass on any information the patient wishes to convey.
3. Pastoral Care Services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The chaplains are in-house Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At other times, the on-call chaplain may be contacted by dialing the hospital operator.
4. Pastoral Care Services is responsible for the care and use of the Stephenson Chapel, which is located on the first floor close to the Main Lobby of the hospital. The Chapel is open to persons of all faiths for quiet meditation.
5. Pastoral Care Services must pre-approve any activities, including religious services, to be held in the Hospital/institution Chapel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Master of Chaplaincy Studies

Below is my end paper for my course

Master of Chaplaincy Studies

By: Crystal Curasi


What is a chaplain? The dictionary defines Chaplain as a cleric who is attached to an institution an example is (minister, hospital).  The chaplain is a minister that serves a congregation on the move. They are found in hospitals, emergency services (Fire, Police, and Military), truck stops and prisons. Chaplains can now also be found in the mainstream places such as resorts, businesses and schools.  The chaplain is a member of their particular church but must have knowledge on all religion and practices. They minister and serve others. There is a verse in the bible which I believe describes perfectly the role of a chaplain Matthew 25:34-40"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' The chaplain was originally based on the Christian faith it is now open to all religions.

The duty of chaplain existed long before a word to describe it. The roman legion used priests in the armies for their soldiers. Druids were chaplains. Monks were also chaplains. St. Francis Assissi performed tasks in which modern day chaplains would perform. As of today the oldest recognized chaplain was in the military. Records have been found dating back to 8th century British navy. Reverend Jacob Duché (1738-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia ministered to Congress in an unofficial capacity until he was elected the body's first chaplain on July 9, 1776. From here chaplains went into hospitals, hospice, schools, commercial resorts, business and sports. The chaplain's role varies in each location. The military chaplain serves families that are dealing with separations, death of loved ones, or serious injury or trauma. Chaplains in hospitals have to help patients and loved ones cope with medical diagnoses, death, and grief. A prison chaplain would help prisoners with guilt, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and other issues. Chaplains found in emergency services would let loved ones know of a death that occurred for family members or accident victims. Chaplains will also comfort the grieving, counsel people, and some may even marry couples.  Chaplains are found in any area where a need is seen or where people can be helped.   

While ministering and serving others the chaplain may use many resources. It is advised that they have a study to use for devotionals. This should be a place for the chaplain to keep up on current events and studies to use when counseling a person. It should also have shelves and reference books. Music can be used in the study for worship purposes. The study should have good lighting and comfortable chair. It will have a computer. When out visiting the chaplain should have a portable tool kit with them. My book bag includes tissues, a compact bible, my i-phone, business cards, notepad and pen, gum, antibacterial sanitizer, and correspondence supplies. The most important tool to have with you always a Chaplain is prayer. While the resources chaplains use are important more important are the God given talents.  
There are many skills that chaplains need to have in order to be successful in their ministry.  The most important skill they can have is listening skills. Chaplains need to be able to active listen to the counselee. Active listening involves going into session without preconceived notions or bias. The chaplain should be aware of the persons tone, emotions, inflection, and speed of conversations. It is a skill that requires concentration and the ability to feedback to the person what they have said as well as what impact it has. Not every conversation a chaplain has will require action of the chaplain. There are times when listening is enough. There may be times a chaplain is asked something outside of spiritual matters such as health matters, psychological, financial or legal issues. The best way to stay out of trouble is being honest and referring them to a specialist in that area. Listening is a key skill that helps the chaplain gain the persons trust. Another skill that is important to chaplaincy is empathy. The chaplain must be able to empathize with people about their current situation. They must also be good observers (or people watchers) as I like to call them. They must be able to see warning signs that a person has a need. These are just a few skills necessary when becoming a chaplain.
 Besides skill the chaplain will have to meet certain religious and educational qualifications. The religious qualifications are based on biblical principals found in verses such as Matthew chapter seven versus twenty or first Timothy or Titus. These verses speak of the call which is noted by outward actions of the one receiving the call. They will also met character qualifications of faithfulness, have a good character testimony, be sound in doctrine (their own beliefs and other religions) and able to teach. I am a member of the Church of the Nazarene and they requirements to become a chaplain are as follows "Those interested in full-time hospital chaplaincy must complete the full course of study prescribed for their ordination orders. They must be ordained deacons or elders in the Church of the Nazarene, complete four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and obtain ecclesiastical endorsement from Chaplaincy Services. Those seeking ecclesiastical endorsement or registration with the Church of the Nazarene to work in Hospice or in a part-time or volunteer capacity, should contact Chaplaincy Services for more additional information." These qualifications are necessary to make sure the chaplains ministry is the best it can be and is effective in helping people they are caring for. The work of a chaplain is a true calling from God and is very demanding but rewarding work.
This above paper is what I learned during my Master of Chaplaincy studies. I learned the history of chaplains as well as their roles and what skills are necessary to be a successful chaplain. I liked how the course had me actively research different types of chaplains and requirements for what I am trying to do specifically within my denomination. I do not see any areas where this course could be improved. What I plan to take away from this course is how to apply my gifts that God has given to me with the knowledge this course has given me to be a successful chaplain in a hospital setting.
 Rev. Crystal Curasi