“Spiritual and pastoral care must be available to Veterans wherever inpatient care or outpatient medical services are provided through the Veterans Health Administration. The type and extent of spiritual and pastoral care provided must be commensurate with the needs, desires, and voluntary consent of the individual Veteran.” VA Directive 1111(2)
VA Catholic Chaplains minister within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) section of the Department of Veterans Affairs. VHA is the “largest integrated network in the United States, with 1,225 healthcare facilities serving 9 million enrolled Veterans each year.” https://www.va.gov/about_va/ . There are 172 VA medical centers, and over a thousand outpatient clinics, community centers, Vet centers and domiciliary care centers.
VA Catholic Chaplains can be found in most of the VA facilities around the country. This is the link to locating the various VA facilities in all states: https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/allstate.asp.
I- VA Requirements for Chaplaincy
For details of the qualification requirements for a VA chaplain, please go to: 1111(2)_D_2016-11-22.pdf.
II- Ecclesiastical Endorsement: Archdiocese for the Military Services.
For details of the AMS requirements for ecclesiastical endorsement, please go to: https://www.milarch.org/chaplains-in-the-military-and-veterans-affairs/serving-catholics-in-department-of-veterans-affairs/.
Together with other VA Chaplains , NCVACC members provide holistic care, in coordination with members of the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT), appropriate to individual needs and desires, such as:
1. Conducting worship services, rituals, rites, religious sacraments and ordinances
2. Providing clinical pastoral care for individual patients;
3. Providing clinical pastoral counseling with individuals and immediate family members during crisis situations;
4. Facilitating spirituality and therapeutic groups;
5. Conducting funerals and memorial services, as authorized; and
6. Coordinating spiritual care for VA patients in all inpatient and outpatient treatment settings.
Catholic chaplains , like any other chaplain in the VA, are employed in various types of positions.
1. Full time – 40 hours per week
2. Part time – 10 to 35 hours per week
3. Intermittent – No regularly scheduled hours
4. Contract – Specific number of visits
5. Fee-basis – Paid per visit
III- Board Certified Chaplain – BCC
1. NACC VA Chaplain Certification
a. All applications for board certification and recertification are under the direction of the NACC’s Certification and Competencies Commission. For more information, go to: Certification Competencies & Procedures - The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (nacc.org).
b. Membership in the NACC is necessary to maintain the NACC VA Chaplain Certification status. The NACC grants a courtesy discount to NCVACC members. (Click here for details in the Renewal Forms.)c. For other inquiries, please contact email@example.com.
2. NAVAC BCC Option
a. Catholic Chaplains may also apply for board certification with the National Association of VA Chaplains (NAVAC).
b. NAVAC has three types of memberships, including the BCC type of membership: https://www.navac.net/join.
c. Additionally, there are six specialty certifications to choose from for those interested in applying: https://www.navac.net/competencies.
d. Those holding a BCC with the NAVAC need to pay its annual membership fees to maintain their certification.