Patients in VA hospitals or psychiatric institutions, even more than other hospital patients, are often removed from their families and pastors. Often these patients are unchurched, having no spiritual counselor to advise them. Many of these patients are suffering from chronic physical and/or emotional effects of trauma. Others suffer from acute psychoses; many are impoverished. Often, psychiatric disorders are indicative of a deeper-lying spiritual disorder. These patients are often shunned by family and friends, and feel isolated from a society that rejected them.
The institutional/VA chaplain is a part of the patients' therapeutic team. He or she brings love and acceptance to those society forgets. He or she must minister to the families of patients, but the major responsibility is to bring a ray of hope to "those who sit in darkness" (Isaiah 42:7, NIV), the darkness of despair and depression.
(Scripture quotation taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society, and is used by permission.)
Full-time Institutional/Veterans Administration (VA) chaplains are ordained deacons or elders who have completed the prescribed course of study for their credentials. They must be endorsed by the Chruch of the Nazarene and have completed at least two quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). They must be able to relate to people who have emotional/psychiatric disorders. Individual institutions may have training prerequisites; check with the institution with which you are interested in working.
Those interested in full-time institutional/VA chaplaincy must be interviewed for ecclesiastical endorsement.
For further information call us at 1-800-233-8962.