The National Conference of Veterans Affairs Catholic Chaplains (NCVACC) was established in 1985 with the election of its first set of officers. This was preceded in the previous year by a survey of over fifty Catholic chaplains in the VA who expressed a desire to form a professional organization that would address their unique needs.
Catholic Chaplains in the VA are endorsed by the Archbishop for Military Services (AMS), through the Episcopal Vicar for Veterans Affairs.
The NCVACC was originally founded to serve two main purposes: (1) “To foster our fraternal relationship,” and (2) “To help those who wish to become certified by the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) Commission on Certification and Accreditation.” The Bylaws approved in 2011 states the following as the “object and purpose” of the NCVACC:
1. Provide mutual support for members working in the Chaplaincy Service of the VA.
2. Provide a forum for the training, study and development of all phases of VA Pastoral care.
3. Award such certificates of proficiency as the bylaws may allow.
4. Serve as the corporate body for VA Catholic chaplains to contact and communicate with the National Episcopal Advisor and the Archdiocese for the Military Service, U.S.A.
I- Prior to 2020
1. One of the main thrusts in founding the NCVACC in 1985 was to establish and provide a method of board certification.
2. The standards and procedures for chaplain certification was first approved in 1988 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Commission on Certification and Accreditation.
3. In 2018, the USCCB Commission recommended to merge NCVACC’s Certification Commission with that of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC), which has basically the same standards. This was implemented in January 2020.
The yearly gathering of all members and officers, under the guidance of the Archbishop for Military Services (AMS) and the Auxiliary Bishop for Veterans Affairs, is called the Annual Education and Membership Meeting. It is normally held during the Fall and announced by the Executive Board. Association business is regularly undertaken during this event, as well as continuing education, support, networking and sharing of experiences.
II- NACC VA Chaplain Certification
1. With the merging of the NCVACC Certification Commission with that of the NACC, all Board certification activities of the NCVACC were turned over to the NACC.
2. Members who already had their NCVACC Board certification (BCC) by January 2020 were granted the new title of NACC VA Chaplain Certification.
3. Membership in the NACC is necessary to maintain the NACC VA Chaplain Certification status.