Caring for Chaplains

This section is for assisting presbyteries. We designed it to help Presbytery Executives, Stated Clerks, and Committees working with pastors or individuals preparing for ministry to discern an individual call to be a military or VA chaplain. As we work with four different denominational structures, please accept our apology if we are not using the correct term for you situation.


  • US Laws governing Veteran Affairs Chaplains, Military Chaplains, and Civil Air Patrol Chaplains require the national denomination to endorse federal chaplains. The Office of the General Assemblies of our four denominations yearly designated that authority to the PCCMP to execute these endorsements on their behalf. This power includes the authority to provide and to withdraw endorsements.
  • Church government clearly requires ministers to maintain membership and standing with their presbytery. Ministers serving as military, VA, or Federal Prison chaplains are still subject to the presbytery’s requirements and discipline. The PCCMP does not act to grant or withdraw endorsement without consulting a chaplain’s presbytery.
  • We act on behalf of presbyteries to provide assistance and support for chaplains, especially those working outside the bounds of their presbyteries. This support includes career guidance and pastoral support in times of crisis.

The PCCMP seeks to act in the genuine interest of chaplains, and to work with  presbyteries to form a cooperative relationship.

To contact our office click here



Click here for the Presbytery Approval for individual seeking Ecclesiastical Endorsement form.


Our hope and expectation is that this will never be an issue. However, it happens. When a military chaplain faces discipline issues, the commander has several different choices for reporting those issues and administering punishment.  This can result in confusion between presbyteries and our office.

Our office, upon notification that a chaplain is being investigated, will first seek to provide appropriate ministerial support to the chaplain and family. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, further steps maybe required by the presbytery and our office.

If a commander selects not to bring charges or to use an administrative discipline, the outcome and even the investigation will most likely not be reported publicly.  On the other hand, if the issue does become public record, we will work with the presbytery in question to handle the situation appropriately.

If we are asked to withdraw the endorsement of the chaplain by the military, we will consult with the presbytery. On the other hand, if the presbytery feels it is appropriate, it too can request us to withdraw the endorsement as well.  All of our chaplains must be in good standing with their presbytery to be endorsed.


1) How do we process the Presbytery Permission for the Chaplain Candidate Program Form or the Presbytery Approval for Chaplaincy Form through our presbytery structure?

Each presbytery has its own procedures. We typically would urge you to use whatever system you have in place for review of calls for pastors or your committee responsible for individuals in preparation for ministry. The only problem with this is with the Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy endorsement.

2) Why are VA Endorsements a problem?

The structure of the VA job notification system requires individuals to submit application in matter of days. When a position is listed on USA Job Website, the applicant must submit everything in less than two weeks. Often this requires us to rush the endorsement process. Many presbyteries have had the Stated Clerk or the Presbytery Executive sign off on the permission/approval form as a result.

3) We haven’t heard from our chaplain in years, should we remove him as an active pastor?

Please contact us if this is your case. You should be and stay connected to your chaplains. The reality is that given deployments, changes in duty stations and jobs, combined with life events, we become disconnected from each other. If you have lost contact with your chaplain, give us a call and we will work to reconnect you.

Working with VA Chaplains

Working with Seminarians

If you currently serve as an endorsed chaplain or chaplain candidate, this section is to help you.  We have listed here information that you need to navigate policies, and guidance.  Also listed here are resources and report forms that will help you and your ministry.


Currently serving chaplains, regardless of status, are required to attend a credentialing event at least once every three years, unless prevented by mission requirements. All currently serving chaplains will be supported in the maintenance of their professional credentials and ecclesiastical standing through attendance and participation in these mandatory events.

This summer we will hold the 2023 version of the Chaplain Training and Credentialing event in two locations –

West Coast – Calvin Crest Conferences outside Oakhurst, CA – June 26-30

East Coast – Montreat Conference Center in Montreat NC – August 7-11

Montreat Conference Center Information:

Montreat registration will open soon. Click here for registration

Montreat Conference Center, Chaplain Credentialing and Training Event 2023 MOI (Click here)

Calvin Crest Information: June 26 - 30, 2023

Calvin Crest registration is now open. Please see below for instructions for registration. Please note PFC authorized dates are Monday, 26 June through Friday, 30 June 2023.

Instructions for Registration: Click here: Calvin Crest Registration Online

    1. Create a login for yourself/family here:  Click here: Calvin Crest Register Online *Note: If you have come to Calvin Crest before only with PFC, you will need to create a new account. If you have come to a Calvin Crest hosted summer program before and have account info, you can use that to login. If you have any questions about whether you have an active account with us, feel free to call our office at 559-772-4040.
    2. Add each member of your family that will be coming with you as a "camper" (this includes spouses)
    3. Enroll each member of your family- this will be done one at a time. You will go through the whole process, including checkout and payment for one person, then do this same process for each member of your family. Beginning with yourself, click the "Enroll for 2023" button, then select the option "Presbyterian Federal Chaplains Family Camp: June 26-30, 2023" and your age, then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Save and Continue"
      1. For each person, you will complete the application questions. Just once per family, you will choose which lodging option you would like and if you'll be joining us on Sunday (5 nights) or Monday (4 nights). PFC's primary lodging is the Cedar Lodge. Note: we hope you'll join us for Calvin Crest's full Family Camp programming which begins on Sunday! Note that if you choose to join us on Sunday, the difference in cost between the 4 night and 5 night rates will not be covered by PFC since PFC's program begins on Monday.
      2. Next, complete the Medical Forms for the individual you are registering, then check out.
      3. Check Out: Please select "Deposit Only" for yourself and pay the $100 deposit to secure your families spot. For each other adult family member, you can select the "Mail Check" Option, which will allow you to finish their registration without paying additional deposit amounts.

Final payments will be due upon arrival at Calvin Crest. If you have any questions or need assistance throughout the process, don't hesitate to reach out to our office at 559-772-4040.

Calvin Crest Memorandum of Instruction (MOI), Chaplain Credentialing and Training Event 2023 (Click here)

Calvin Crest Additional Information: (Click Here To Download)

Post 2021 Training and Credentialing Resources

The 2021 Training and Credentialing Event is now complete. People were able to participate either in person or virtually via Zoom.

Videos Available - If you were not able to attend you may view the videos of the devotionals and training at our Group page on Facebook - Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincies.

Join our group - if you have not joined our Facebook group please do so. Search Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincies and you should be welcomed as a member. If not, ask to join and we will approve. We hope this group will be useful now and into the future.


1/27/21 Chaplains All Access January 2021 Meeting Slides Click here

April 30, 2020: With gratitude to the presenters listed below, the previously recorded presentation "MORAL RESILIENCE IN MEDICAL WORKERS DURING COVID-19" Webinar Training is offered via the following link: Access Password: E5@20J^?

Download PDF Webinar Outline and Resources Handout:

Webinar Overview: Moral injury is happening all around us as COVID-19 ravages lives all across the nation. Our medical teams are especially at risk. We are here to help, in real time, by providing information about what kinds of things put people at risk, how to maintain moral resilience in the crisis, and what can be done in the aftermath to help people process their experiences. Participants in this online discussion will receive information in a "tool kit" for coping in the midst of the pandemic and after.

Presented by

Dr. Rita Brock
Senior Vice President and Director of the Shay Moral Injury Center
at Volunteers of America

Dr. Cynda Hylton Rushton
Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics in
the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and the
School of Nursing

Moderated by Rev. Dr. Al Boyce
Chaplain, Volunteers of America Northern New England

April 14, 2020: “Crisis Support in the Midst of a Pandemic” PRESENTED BY: South Carolina Law Enforcement Assistance Program

Please click on the link to begin training:




Note: Posting of these websites in no way constitutes an endorsement by the Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincy of their content or a guarantee of their usefulness.

 Link to Military Chaplains Association (MCA)



Dennis Hysom

Doug Slater


Contact Presbyterian Federal Chaplaincies

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