Vineyard Chaplains serve the prisoner, the sick, the worker, the military, and their families providing spiritual counsel and care. Chaplains give their lives to see Jesus honored in wider society.
As a movement of local churches, we encourage all endorsements for ministry outside the local congregation to be done through the local church whenever possible. This includes the endorsement of chaplains. It is your own congregation that knows you best and is therefore able to affirm your gifts and calling.
However, there are situations where the endorsement of a local congregation is not sufficient. These situations fall primarily into two areas:
1. Those seeking endorsement with the Department of Defense (DoD) either as military chaplains or chaplains with the Veterans Administration. In this case we have an agreement with the Chaplains Commission of the National Association of Evangelicals.
We work with the NAECC as they are a recognized endorser with the DoD. If this is where you believe that God is calling you, you will work directly with the NAE (they are the experts) and we will assist with verifying your good standing with the Vineyard which is a requirement in their application process. It is important that you ensure that you meet all the other requirements for military or VA chaplaincy including requisite education, fitness, age, etc. The NAECC can help you get specific up-to-date information on those requirements. They are great to work with.
2. Those pursing certification with professional chaplain associations which require ecclesiastical endorsement with a group listed in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches in addition to other requirements (e.g., degrees, CPE units, etc.). As the Vineyard is included in the Yearbook, we are able to assist with an appropriate letter of endorsement in conjunction with your local congregation.
Other than these exceptions, we encourage you to seek endorsement from your own church as a chaplain rather than through the Vineyard movement.
If you are exploring either of the areas requiring denominational endorsement, we are happy to help. The first step is to have your pastor send us a letter stating their affirmation of your calling and competency for chaplaincy, attesting to your good standing in their congregation, and to your grounding in theology. The affirmation of the local church is the basis for our being able to write a letter of endorsement for you.
With civilian chaplains, we will also do a background check as we do with church planters. For potential military chaplains the background check is done by the NAE.
Vineyard USA brings oversight to chaplains serving with the Vineyard.
Chaplains serve in almost every sector of society — prisons, military, universities, hospital, law enforcement, firefighting, and other civilian settings. Military chaplains care for the wounded by visiting military personnel, their families and hospital staff. They also advise superior officers, lead worship services, Bible studies, classes and offer counseling. Vineyard USA recognizes the unique calling chaplains have to care for people in these settings.
Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch.