If you’re wondering how to become a chaplain, your thoughts may turn to religious ties or spirituality.
A chaplain is a spiritual representative often attached to a religious institution – they may or may not be certified or ordained to carry out their duties.
While traditionally, most chaplains identify with a religion, many represent various faiths or identify as humanist chaplains and act as a neutral spiritual resource.
There are many chaplaincy courses to help you train to become a chaplain or to maintain your professional development as a chaplain.
What is a Humanist Chaplain?
A humanist chaplain supports and cares for people lovingly without reference to or discussions about religion.
What Do Chaplains Do?
If you’re considering how to become a chaplain, you should also think about the nature of the role, and what will be required.
As a chaplain, you will support people experiencing hardship, trauma or ill health and will be required to:
- Listen with compassion and patience
- Offer a safe space for people to share their experiences and feelings.
- Help people work through difficult life circumstances.
- Assist in times of crisis, such as ill-health and disasters
There are many chaplaincy courses that help chaplains to support those under their guidance and care, from youth work to alcohol and drug addiction and homelessness support.
What is Humanism?
Humanists Australia says humanism is an approach to life which focuses on living ethically and enjoying life, without the need to rely on supernatural or other extra-human sources of ethics and meaning.
The worldwide humanist movement works to make the world a better place.
Humanists believe everyone should live an ethical life caring for people, animals and the planet, without a need for religion. They also believe everyone has the right to enjoy their religion if it does not cause any harm.
How to Become a Chaplain – Chaplaincy Courses
There are many options to learn the knowledge and skills required in chaplaincy.
Chaplaincy courses offered online include the Certificate of Chaplaincy, Pastoral and Spiritual Care, which is a professional development program providing the knowledge and skills required to provide chaplaincy and pastoral care services.
On completion of this chaplaincy course, you may seek voluntary or paid work as part of a pastoral care team in a variety of settings, including hospitals, residential and aged-care facilities, community outreach centres and churches.
Professional Development for Chaplains
Maintaining professional development is crucial in chaplaincy, particularly in community services and social welfare.
Australian Online Courses offers the following online chaplaincy courses that may be helpful, professional development for chaplains.