Serve spiritual medicine by becoming a hospital chaplain.
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” — 3 John 1:2
If you feel as though you are being called to serve the Lord from within a hospital, you should not only prepare yourself academically but spiritually and psychologically as well. As a hospital chaplain, you will be privy to some of the most heartbreaking situations for both patients and families, and you should expect to find yourself as a combination of a leader, counselor, hand-holder, and spiritual guide. Doctors and nurses work to heal the body, but chaplains work to heal the soul. Along with providing services directly to patients, chaplains also hold religious services within the hospital’s chapel.
Chaplain work requires a Bachelor’s degree as well as a Master’s Degree from either an accredited university or seminary with a focus on divinity, theology, or something similar to that program of study. Once your academic needs are fulfilled, it is required that you get Clinical Pastoral Education, which gives future chaplains specialized training with patients and those involved in precarious situations. Depending on your chaplaincy career path, you also may need to look into various certifications, state licensure, and other supplemental educational programs to best serve your hospital.
Much like future doctors, a two-year residency within a hospital is required to become a chaplain. While under the tutelage of a more experienced chaplain you will learn the ins and outs of hospital spiritual care, and each day will be starkly different than the next.
If you love the Lord, enjoy getting to know people, and wish to help patients and families in their most volatile states, becoming a hospital chaplain may be the best career for you. You’ll be no stranger to the woes and triumphs that are found within the patient rooms, and everyone who comes to a hospital — patient, visitor, or staff member — will look to you as a guiding light in both good times and bad.