A Woman Sits on Her Couch and Uses Her Smartphone.

Understanding Your Calling

No matter their profession, people who serve others with a sense of direction, focus, passion and the sense that “this is what they were made for” have certainly been “called” to that work. So, how do you discern a call to ministry as a vocation?

The first step in discerning a call to vocational ministry is experiencing a personal relationship with God in such a powerful way that you can connect, through your faith, to a deep sense of direction and focus for your ministry as one who reminds others of God’s presence in their lives.

Many faith traditions guide people in reminding others of God’s presence in their lives as Christians are called to live in service as Christ lived. It’s the focus that defines a ministerial call and subsequently makes sacrifices to provide spiritual leadership for people in one’s community that is unique for ministers.

A CPE Pastor Reads the Bible to a Patient

The Development of Spiritual Leadership

For some people, the call to ministry is progressive and develops over years. An ever-deepening journey of spiritual maturation, it eventually leads to a vocational call to ministry. The call to ministry requires discernment in conversations with God, as well as a commitment to be in a continual state of discernment as you pursue your calling — which, like our faith, deepens over time as our understanding grows.

What Do Chaplains Do?

The sacred work of a chaplain can change from day to day based on the needs of the people being served. Chaplains provide spiritual care as facilitators of faith by giving devotionals and chapel services, performing baptisms and baby dedications, providing religious counsel and performing religious rituals, facilitating interfaith care and leading worship for any faith.

As skilled counselors, chaplains provide emotional support through active listening, grief support, crisis response, team care, ethics consultation, emotional care, meaning-making facilitation, stress support and more.

Chaplains also serve as critical players in patient advocacy by helping them with advance directives, life-review research and emergency situations, such as code-blue response, crisis response and critical incident debriefing.

A Group of Young Professionals Having a Group Discussion in a Class.

A Discernment Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education

Traditionally, the role of a pastor embodies three areas of spiritual leadership: the prophet, the priest and the pastoral care provider. While a pastor is called to lead in all three areas, the specific gifts of an individual may be stronger in one specific area. Chaplaincy is a call to specialized ministry in pastoral and spiritual care.

Completing one unit of CPE is both a way of strengthening your pastoral care skills and an opportunity to discern a call to primary ministry in chaplaincy.

While many CPE programs are based in a health care setting, the learning is transferable to various ministry settings, including congregational ministry.

Level 1, 2 and Certified Educator Clinical Pastoral Education at AdventHealth Orlando CPE System Center is accredited by: ACPE: The Standard for Spiritual Care and Education, 1 Concourse Parkway Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30328 www.acpe.edu Call404-320-1472