Information for individuals interested in chaplain ministry, those pursuing a new endorsement as a Texas Baptist Chaplain, those wishing to transfer their endorsement, and those needing to update their endorsement.
Texas Baptists endorse in nine distinct categories: Health Care, Military, Restorative Justice, Pastoral Counseling, Marketplace, Crisis Resiliency, Public Safety, Coaching and Biker ministries. These Texas Baptist missionaries often serve where local pastors would not have access. They are full-time, part-time and volunteers who are deeply involved in Kingdom work!
Chaplains serve in the uniformed services right alongside Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines – they serve stateside units all across the US and are regularly assigned to postings overseas and, just like their combat-related flock, they are often deployed “downrange” to places like Iraq or Afghanistan. Most military chaplains do the other chaplain category work within the military, sometimes serving a military hospital or prison or doing counseling.
Texas Baptist chaplains serve in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and many are volunteers in local city or county jails all across the State. They provide hope and ministry to prisoners and prisoners’ families in a ministry that is often invisible to many in the local church, but a ministry specifically directed by our Lord: “…I was in prison and you visited me….”
Texas Baptists project the Gospel into the “Biker Community” through a network of volunteer chaplains who are active bikers themselves, but are committed to winning their community to Christ by riding and witnessing and ministering to that community at every opportunity. These chaplains have given their passion for motorcycles to the Lord and are letting Him use that interest to win this “unreached people group.”
Several of our Texas Baptist chaplains work for public safety institutions – the Border Patrol, local fire and police departments and EMS organizations – some are paid and many are volunteers who serve alongside our First Responders and minister to them as they serve and protect us. Some of these also serve on local disaster response teams.
Texas Baptist chaplains serve in hospitals, nursing and assisted-living facilities, hospice, and other related health-based ministry positions. From paid chaplaincy positions and Clinical Pastoral Education training sites to volunteer chaplains who augment the professional/paid staff in hospitals and health-care facilities all across the Texas and some, well beyond our borders.
Some businesses across our State now hire chaplains to provide counseling and ministry services for their employees – someone who knows that business and has daily access to the employees and is free to walk the floors and informally visit/counsel/provide for weddings and funerals for employees of that business and their families.
Texas Baptists have a growing number of chaplains who are trained and on standby to go into the aftermath of disasters and do ministry in helping the survivors cope with their loss and move forward into a new life. These chaplains are prepared to drop everything and be deployed into the most horrific of situations (after Katrina or Ike, for example) and assist in community crisis response and resiliency.
Texas Baptists work with various counseling training and certification bodies to provide churches and counseling ministries with professional, licensed counselors to minister to people in need.
This document serves as a guideline for the Texas Baptist (BGCT) Endorsing Council and as a guide for anyone interested in becoming a chaplain. It establishes the procedures for those applying for endorsement, and guidelines utilized by the endorsing council to approve endorsement.
The BGCT provides endorsement for those Baptist chaplains who need ecclesiastical endorsement for a professional chaplaincy certification organization or hiring institution. Such hiring institution examples are Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Veterans Administration and Health Care Institutions. Different areas of chaplaincy endorsement include, health care, military, restorative justice ministry, business and industry, public safety, crisis response and pastoral counseling.