Since 1998, the Alliance has endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors in a variety of ministry areas including healthcare, prison & law enforcement, community, and military, as well as clinical pastoral education supervision and pastoral counseling.
The Alliance also provides endorsement for membership in various professional organizations, such as the Association of Professional Chaplains, American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy.
The Alliance endorsement process is open to persons of any age, race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, or sexual identity.
Endorsement is an official declaration by the Alliance of Baptists, that a person meets the Alliance’s standards to serve in a specialized ministry setting of chaplaincy, counseling, or clinical education.
Endorsement is an exclusive covenant relationship between the Alliance of Baptists and the clergy persons the Alliance endorses. The Alliance covenants to provide support and discernment to those seeking to enter pastoral care ministry and to provide guidance, support, and oversight to those who serve in these ministries. The endorsed clergy persons agree to on-going participation in the life of the Alliance, as well as maintaining communication and accountability to the Alliance.
Endorsement addresses the following core standards through a process of written papers, interviews, and mutual discernment:
- Clergy Recognition through the Alliance of Baptists
- Academic and clinical education
- Ministerial and theological integrity
- Ministry practice congruent with the Alliance Covenant and Mission and the codes of ethics prescribed by agencies providing certification
- Ability to work in ways that promote equity, collegiality, and diversity in pluralistic environments
- Ongoing spiritual formation and growth
To learn more about the endorsement application process, please contact Carole Collins, director of operations and finance. Application materials may be submitted electronically by email and/or fax 877.745.7557. Materials not submitted electronically will not be received.
Anyone seeking endorsement must first be a recognized clergy of the Alliance of Baptists. Once clergy recognition has been granted or is in process, the candidate may apply for endorsement. Read more about Clergy Recognition.
Completed application materials are reviewed on a rotating basis by the Endorsement Council according to the following deadlines: January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. A decision regarding endorsement will be made less than three months after the deadline.
In some branches of the United States armed services, individuals may be able to train to become a chaplain at the same time they are training for ministry. For those interested in entering the Chaplain Candidate Program (CCP), the Alliance of Baptists can provide the required "ecclesiastical approval" for candidates. Interested candidates must:
- Be enrolled in a theology school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools
- Be an individual member of the Alliance of Baptists by giving a financial contribution
- Have at least 2 years of relationship with a congregation affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists or a congregation from the free church tradition.
To apply for ecclesiastical approval for chaplain candidacy, please submit:
- Ecclesiastical Approval for Chaplain Candidacy Application, which includes a letter from from a local congregation indicating involvement and participation. a brief statement of your faith journey, and a brief reflection on the Alliance covenant and mission and your vocation.
- A $50 application fee to cover the cost of a background check
To maintain ecclesiastical approval, chaplain candidates must maintain current membership in the Alliance through an annual contribution and attend a gathering of the Alliance of Baptists during the period of candidacy.
If you have questions or would like more information, contact Carole Collins, minister for operations & finance and the Alliance's endorser, either by email or phone: 866.745.7609 x203.