All ACOC clergy engaged in public ministry in a chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, or related pastoral care capacity must obtain ecclesiastical endorsement. The Division of Clergy Training and Chaplaincy oversees endorsement. The ACOC is a member in good standing with the Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies (AREB), the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF), Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincies (ECVAC) and the Coalition On Ministry in Specialized Settings (COMISS Network).
Chaplain Candidate Endorsement
The steps towards qualification are as follows:
1. A candidate initiates contact with the Division for discussion of goals and further educational needs.
2. If clinical training is required, the Division assists the candidate in making application and gaining entry into an appropriate training program. Upon acceptance into a training venue, the candidate will be granted Chaplain Candidate Endorsement.
3. Upon successful completion of training, the Chaplain Candidate may apply for ACOC Chaplain or Pastoral Counselor Endorsement.
Ecclesiastical Endorsement for Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors
Ecclesiastical Endorsement is renewed annually, in January. The following documentation of current status is to be submitted to the Division:
A letter from the chaplain / pastoral counselor summarizing the ministry of the past year and plans for the coming year.
Certificates of all professional continuing education completed during the past year, including seminars, organization meetings, retreats, and course work.
Continued active membership in appropriate pastoral care organizations.
The ACOC Division of Chaplaincy issues certificates of endorsement to endorsed clergy. When asked to do so, the Division also affirms current endorsements to outside requesting entities, including national professional organizations, potential or current employers, state licensing boards and the public.
The ACOC is approved by the Armed Forces Chaplains Board as a recognized ecclesiastical endorsing agent to nominate clergy for the military chaplaincy as well as the Veteran’s Administration and Chaplaincy Services Branch of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Division of Chaplaincy will assist any ACOC clergy who wish to serve in the Armed Forces as an active duty chaplain or as a chaplain in the Reserves, National Guard or Civil Air Patrol in completing the appropriate applications for service.
Those interested in Armed Forces Chaplaincy should contact the Reverend Steven Dundas at (757) 418-4002 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information regarding Armed Forces Chaplaincy can be found through the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces at: http://www.ncmaf.org/chaplain.htm
The Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church
1900 St. James Place, Suite 880
Houston, TX 77056
Tel: 713.977.2855 or 713.266.2456