A dictionary definition of "chaplain" is a clergy person who performs religious functions in a special setting such as a hospital, hospice program, nursing home, rehab program, or prison.
DSMA approved chaplains are ordained Divine Science ministers who have been called to provide chaplain services and have completed additional preparation through workshops or continuing education courses, on-the-job experience, and approved training programs in settings such as hospice services. DSMA requires 100 hours of related education or experience prior to certification, to be documented by the applicant. Examples include completion of nursing continuing education credits in areas such as working with grief and dying issues, spiritual support of patients, prayer in nursing, etc. Other types of acceptable preparation would be completion of relevant workshops in developing positive self-esteem, peer counseling techniques, dealing with codependency issues, mediation services, and support group facilitation.College degrees in areas such as counseling or applied psychology may also be appropriate preparation.
Many of our ordained Divine Science ministers already serve informally as chaplains. The DSMA certification provides formal recognition of an applicant’s chaplain ministry and gives chaplain service providers an appropriate professional endorsement that may satisfy agency or institutional requirements. Chaplain Certification for DSMA is considered on an individual basis and acceptance is neither automatic nor based solely on completing the 100 hours of preparation requirements.