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How to Become a Hospital Chaplain

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A hospital chaplain provides around-the-clock spiritual guidance to hospital patients. Hospital chaplains are available on request and give comfort to patients and their family members. To become a hospital chaplain, specific training is required to understand how to service those in need within a clinical setting.

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Get educated. To be eligible for the programs required of hospital chaplains, you must hold a graduate degree from an accredited school or seminary.

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Gain experience as a member of the clergy. Many hospital chaplain programs require a chaplain be an ordained member of the clergy for a minimum of three to five years.

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Attend a clinical pastoral education program (CPE). Many hospitals require that hospital chaplains complete a CPE program from an accredited school. Over the course of approximately 12 weeks, students learn how to provide pastoral care to patients and family members.

Complete a two-year residency. After successfully completing the CPE program, hospital chaplains continue on to a two-year residency. Under a chaplain supervisory, the candidate works in a hospital or clinic to learn about diseases and proper spiritual responses. Worship seminars, oral lectures and individual consultations usually are part of the residency.

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Apply to hospitals to serve as a chaplain. Contact hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other medical settings to determine if they are in need of a hospital chaplain.

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About the Author

Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.

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