United States Citizenship:
Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
English Language Proficiency:
Chaplains must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by U.S.C.§ 7403(f).
Candidates must have ecclesiastical endorsement, dated within the past 12 months, from the official national endorsing authority of their faith group or denomination. For the purpose of this standard, ecclesiastical endorsement is a written official statement, by the official national endorsing body of the faith group or denomination, certifying that the applicant is in good standing with the applicant's group or denomination; and stating that the individual is, in the opinion of the endorsing body, qualified to perform the full range of ministry required in the VA pluralistic setting.
Candidates must possess the Master of Divinity degree, normally based upon completion of 3 years of graduate study, or possess equivalent educational qualifications. Equivalent educational qualifications means possession of a bachelor's degree of at least 120 semester hours plus successful completion of 70 semester hours of graduate study which included or was supplemented by all of the following: 20 semester hours of pastoral ministry (examples: homiletics, preaching, ministry, pastoral counseling, supervised ministry and/or practice); 20 semester hours in any combination of theology, ethics, and philosophy of religion; 10 semester hours in religious history or world religions; and 20 semester hours in the study of sacred or religious writings, including the study of languages in which sacred or religious writings are written.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE):
Applicants must have completed four units of CPE from a CPE center that is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Applicants must be a Board Certified Chaplain certified by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI) ® or nationally recognized certification body that utilizes the BCCI ® Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplaincy or a certifying organization that has a reciprocity agreement with BCCI ®.
- All chaplains employed in VHA, in this occupational series, performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all the qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements of this standard, but met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to the position, the following provisions apply:
- Chaplains who do not meet the basic requirements for education and certification may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or demoted within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the full performance level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions.
- Chaplains appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended, or be reappointed on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
- Chaplains initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain education and/or certification that meets all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.
- Chaplains who were retained in this occupation, under this provision, and subsequently leave the occupation, lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.
: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:
: Chaplain (Clinical Pastoral Educator), GS-12
(a) Experience. At this level, the candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level
that is directly related to the position to be filled. Example of experience include:
provide advance care planning education, information, and counsel for patients and their families. Provide guidance and/or support for patients to express values through processes such as life review, oral history, and end of life preparation and documentation. Develop pastoral care programs that are measurable, outcome-driven, and evidence-based in coordination with the department guidelines. Provide pastoral counseling on medical and ethical matters, including but not limited to, moral injury, problems of conscience, family difficulties, justice or confinement matters, terminal diagnoses, or crisis. Support the development of staff resiliency by providing emotional and spiritual support and compassionate presence. Provide education and equips other healthcare staff and trainees to screen for spiritual and religious needs, and the importance of appropriate referrals to chaplains for complex spiritual distress. Also, coordinates with community organizations to ensure the provision of comprehensive spiritual care, and engaging community resources to meet religious needs of patients.
i. To provide educational supervision for CPE Level 1 and Level 2 students, the Chaplain CPE Educator must be a Certified Educator.
ii. To provide educational supervision for students seeking to become Certified Educators, the Chaplain CPE Educator must be a CPE national faculty from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
For all assignments above the journey level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), range of variety and be performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time. The certified educator manages the daily operations of the CPE center, develops and implements program policies and procedures and serves as certified educators of record for all CPE students. They are responsible for administrative oversight and programmatic resources and monitoring of educational outcomes. They are responsible for all educator evaluations, student records, center portfolio and CPE accreditation requirements, which may include off-site CPE satellites and placement contracts.
(d) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
- i. Ability to independently educate all levels of CPE students and plan, organize, and implement all levels of the CPE program.
- ii. Skill in adhering to all accreditation standards, processes and practices including, but not limited to, timely and professional submission of all required program reports, center portfolio, fees and dues.
- iii. Skill in written and verbal communication that are articulate, professional and cohesive.
- iv. Ability to recruit, interview and select students for the CPE program.
- v. Knowledge of professional ethics for certified educators and history of CPE.
- vi. Ability to apply theoretical understanding for and competence in administering and conducting all levels of CPE programs.
- vii. Knowledge of emerging trends and research in the area of pastoral education.
- viii. Knowledge of diverse conceptual frameworks for developing educational curriculum.
This position requires the Chaplain to meaningfully engage with Veteran patients and family members by walking and moving within the healthcare setting or with the incumbent using an assistive device. The Chaplain is required to speak, hear (hearing aid permitted) and work closely with others.