Following the announcement of the Advanced Certificate of Ministry in Children’s Ministry, Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Texas Baptists have entered into a new agreement between Truett’s Online Certificate Program and the Texas Baptists Office of Chaplaincy Relations. Through this partnership, students will have the opportunity to earn a Certificate of Chaplaincy Ministry.
“This partnership allows Truett Seminary to better serve our Certificate students in ways that are focused on meeting their needs,” said David Tate, Director of Truett’s Online Certificate Program. “Our primary calling and purpose is to help these students follow their callings, and historically, many of our students have served as volunteer chaplains in hospitals, prisons, and nursing homes.”
Although the Certificate will not typically qualify a person for employment since professional chaplain employers—including military, healthcare, and corrections—require theological degrees and pastoral experience, the program will be a highly beneficial tool for volunteers such as public safety chaplains, biker chaplains, RV chaplains, NASCAR chaplains, and others.
“This new certificate will equip volunteers from local churches and organizations as they serve in specialized ministry settings such as jails, hospitals, and disaster response,” said Eric Whitmore, Associate Endorser of Chaplaincy Calling and Endorsement for Texas Baptists. “Also, our hope is that we work together to equip volunteers who work alongside professional chaplains.”
In order to receive a Certificate of Chaplaincy Ministry, students must complete the six core classes within Truett’s Online Certificate Program as well as Hands on Ministry – Volunteer Chaplaincy Training through Texas Baptists. Additionally, students will select two elective courses from the following: Texas Baptists’ Disaster Spiritual Care training, Truett’s Certificate Program Pastoral Care class, or Truett’s Certificate Program Preaching 1 class. Lastly, students will complete a Chaplaincy Mentoring Project, which will involve the student engaging in a mentoring relationship with a current or retired chaplain.
“Our relationship with Truett has always been strong and productive,” Whitmore said. “The seminary is one of our flagship schools for theological education and training. Partnering to prepare professional and volunteer chaplains is simply an extension of our shared ministry and a natural outcome of a close relationship. We look forward to other ways in which we can collaborate to equip those who are called to specialized ministry settings.”
“We desire to listen to the needs and callings of our Certificate students and respond in the best ways possible to meet those needs,” Tate said. “To offer a joint certificate like this is simply the best way for us to serve our Certificate students and to expand the opportunities for Truett Seminary to give access to formal theological education. In doing so, we serve ministers and we serve the Church.”