Quakers in Pastoral Care & Counseling
Quakers in Pastoral Care & Counseling

How Can I Become a Board-Certified Chaplain as a Quaker?

Many of QPCC's professional members are board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy (CPSP), or the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). Credentialing in these organizations is sometimes required by hospitals and/or agencies that hire chaplains and therapists.

Such memberships also provide Friends with credentials that speak to professional standards and ethics. These organizations require members to be active in a faith community and to be ordained or otherwise recognized / commissioned by their congregations. Candidates for membership in these organizations need their congregations to vouch for their active membership, abilities, and calls to ministry.

Since Quakers do not ordain and many Yearly Meetings no longer record ministers, the pioneering Friends who first joined these organizations developed alternate ways to meet these requirements. Depending on the organization to which the candidate is applying, the steps that will need to be taken may include:

  • Letter of endorsement that recognizes the candidate's MM or YM membership in good standing and endorses his/her ministry as a professional
  • Letter of commissioning that sends the candidate out to minister to others
  • A method of accountability with the Monthly and/or Yearly Meeting, such as quarterly or annual meetings with a committee of support or Ministry & Counsel

Many Friends meetings combine the letter of endorsement and the letter of commissioning into a single letter.  It is important, however, for the letter to address both issues clearly.

In some Yearly Meetings (e.g., Illinois) the Yearly Meeting itself provides endorsement. In other Yearly Meetings (e.g., Western) the monthly meeting provides endorsement. You should be able to find out what your Yearly Meeting requires by contacting the Yearly Meeting office, Committee of Ministry & Counsel, Board on Christian Ministry, or similar body. You can also consult other Friends in your Yearly Meeting who are in your profession.

If you would like to provide QPCC with information about how your Yearly Meeting helps Friends meet the requirements for the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy (CPSP), the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) or other certifying agencies, please email your information to: Ted Taylor, Clerk of the QPCC Steering Committee, TedfordJTaylor@gmail.com

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