Humanist Chaplains

Humanist Chaplains represent humanist values and principles in secular institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, military units, police departments, universities, and humanist communities. This endorsement is intended for those working as chaplains and will not be granted or renewed for those not intending to work in an institutional setting or for those who have not had significant institutional work during the endorsement period.

Chaplains are distinguished from Celebrants by their responsibility and authority to work with both non-humanists and humanists. This position is characterized by a professional chaplain’s covenant to serve all and exploit none.

Endorsement by The Humanist Society does not entitle a humanist chaplain to a paid chaplain position at an institution. Any given institution may require volunteers or paid staff to have professional certifications, whether related to chaplaincy, counseling, or other credentials. The Humanist Society’s endorsement affirms that 1) the individual can authentically represent humanism and 2) the individual is ready to serve according to professional standards within and outside the humanist community.

The Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI), an affiliate of the Association for Professional Chaplains (APC), sets its own standards for certification.  The APC recognizes The Humanist Society as an endorser of chaplains.  Employers may require specific professional certifications for individuals to function as a chaplain within their institution.  Click here for more information on the standards set by the BCC.