Become a Humanist Chaplain

 


The Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc., an affiliate of the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), sets their own standards for certification. The Humanist Society provides endorsement that one is authentically humanist. Employers may require specific professional certifications for individuals to function as a chaplain within their institution.

The Chaplain endorsement does not grant equivalent rights as clergy to legally perform weddings under the jurisdiction of most states within the U.S. without additionally holding a Celebrant endorsement. Chaplains are encouraged to apply to be a Celebrant. Note: a Chaplain/Celebrant application requires only a single application, application fee, annual professional dues payment, and re-endorsement process.

Endorsement Levels


Humanist Chaplain: A chaplain represents Humanist values and principles in secular institutions such as a hospital, nursing home, prison, military unit, school, police department, university and/or humanist community. This is intended for those working as chaplains and will not be given or renewed for those not intending to work in an institutional setting and will not be renewed for those who have not had significant institutional work during the endorsement period. Chaplains are distinguished from Celebrants in their responsibility and authority to work with non-humanists as well as humanists. This position is distinguished by a professional chaplain’s covenant (see appendix) to serve all and exploit none.

Initial Humanist Chaplain endorsement is valid for a 2-year period. Renewal is required following 2-year initial endorsement. See section on Humanist Chaplain Renewal below for more information.

The Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc., an affiliate of the Association for Professional Chaplains (APC), sets their own standards for certification (APC standards for certification). APC recognizes the Humanist Society as an endorser of chaplains. The Humanist Society provides endorsement that one is authentically humanist. Employers may require specific professional certifications for individuals to function as a chaplain within their institution

Qualifications:

  • Completed application
  • $40 application fee
  • $100 annual professional fee
  • American Humanist Association Membership
  • Understanding of Humanist Chaplain role

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Humanist Celebrant & Humanist Chaplain (dual endorsement): The Chaplain endorsement does not grant equivalent rights as clergy to legally perform weddings under the jurisdiction of most states within the U.S. without additionally holding a Celebrant endorsement. Chaplains who wish to have the privilege to legally perform weddings are encouraged to apply for dual endorsement of Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant.

Initial Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant (dual endorsement) is valid for a 2-year period. Renewal is required following 2-year initial endorsement. See section on Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant Renewal below for more information.

Qualifications:

  • Completed application
  • $40 application fee
  • $100 annual professional fee
  • American Humanist Association Membership
  • Understanding of Humanist Celebrant role
  • Understanding of Humanist Chaplain role

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Humanist Chaplain Renewal: Initial Humanist Chaplain endorsement is valid for a 2-year period. A Chaplain desiring to continue status at this endorsement level needs to seek renewal. If granted continued endorsement, Humanist Chaplains are then valid for a 5-year period before renewal is again required.

Qualifications:

  • Completed application
  • $100 annual professional fee
  • American Humanist Association Membership
  • Understanding of Humanist Chaplain role
  • Service as chaplain subsequent to endorsement

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Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant Renewal (dual endorsement): Initial Humanist Chaplain and Humanist Celebrant endorsement is valid for a 2-year period. A Chaplain and Celebrant desiring to continue status at this endorsement level needs to seek renewal. If granted continued endorsement, Humanist Chaplains and Humanist Celebrant are then valid for a 5-year period before renewal is again required.

Qualifications:

  • Completed application
  • $100 annual professional fee
  • American Humanist Association Membership
  • Officiated a minimum of 1 ceremony per year*
  • Service as chaplain subsequent to endorsement

*If seeking renewal after initial 2-year endorsement a celebrant needs to have officiated a minimum of 2 ceremonies. If seeking renewal after 5-year endorsement a celebrants needs to have officiated a minimum of 5 ceremonies.

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