The Different Types of Chaplains

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Community: These are also called market place chaplains, since they are ready to help and serve others as the need arises in public.

Educational institutions: School chaplains work in religious or secular schools.

Law enforcement agencies: Law enforcement chaplains serve in local, county, state and federal agencies and provide a variety of services within the law enforcement community.

Emergency services/ Fire departments: Chaplains working with emergency services personnel provide the same kind of support as do chaplains working with law enforcement, and sometimes face even greater danger, working with the wounded in often very dangerous surroundings.

Environmental: Environmental chaplains (also known as eco-chaplains, Earth chaplains, nature chaplains) provide spiritual care in a way that honors humanity’s deep connection to the earth.

Health care: Many hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospices employ chaplains to assist with the spiritual, religious, pastoral and emotional needs of patients, families and staff.

Military: Military chaplains provide pastoral, spiritual and emotional support for service personnel, including the conduct of religious services at sea, on bases or in the field.

Parliamentary: The United States has chaplains appointed to work with parliamentary bodies, such as the Chaplain of the United States Senate, and the Chaplain of the United States House of Representatives.

Prisons: Prison chaplains work toward offender rehabilitation, as well as seeing to their spiritual needs. They work to help offenders change their hearts, minds and directions.

Sports: A sports chaplain provides pastoral care for athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and their families.

Corporate: Some businesses, large or small, employ chaplains for their staff and/or clientele.

Cruises: These chaplains work on board cruise ships. They play a vital role in providing pastoral and spiritual support to both passengers and crew members.

Soup Kitchens: These chaplains not only feed the hungry but also minister to their spiritual needs.

Disaster Areas: When disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados and even terrorist attacks happen, disaster relief chaplains offer their services to the victims and their families.

Motorcycles Clubs: These chaplains minister to the various biker clubs but usually remain without official affiliation in one particular club.

Miscellaneous: There are also chaplains to television or radio stations, family, local community teams, scout troops, airports, nightclubs, highway rest stops, alcohol and drug rehab centers, halfway houses, AIDS hospices, nursing homes, homeless shelters, and domestic violence centers.

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