FOR PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE CHAPLAINSPreface
College chaplains have a unique opportunity and responsibility to enhance the presence and the ministry of the church within higher education and to influence the future of the church and society with the message of the Gospel. The church calls forth talented and gifted people to serve in this challenging ministry.
Therefore, the Presbyterian College Chaplains Association offers these standards to promote a level of competency for campus ministry. They provide a performance gauge in the ministry and a means to foster a high degree of professional excellence. The living out of these standards bears witness to discipleship with Jesus and his pastoral and prophetic call.
1. Theological CompetenciesA college chaplain is expected to:
– have a basic understanding of the Reformed tradition in the areas of: Old and New Testament contents, Pastoral Theology and Care, Ethics, Worship, Spirituality and Prayer, Peace and Justice Issues, Church History, and Theology of Campus Ministry
– pursue continuing theological reflection and education
– have familiarity with other religious traditions and their practices.2. Conceptualizing Skills
A. The pastoral skills of a college chaplain show abilities to:
– communicate with and motivate people
– articulate the faith through preaching, teaching, writing, and spiritual direction
– initiate, deepen and terminate pastoral relationships
– organize, facilitate, administer and share responsibility and decision making
– effectively assess, intervene with and refer individuals
– discern the needs of the campus community
– call forth and coordinate the diverse gifts of the community for worship, spiritual nurture, service and mutual edification.
B. The conceptualizing skills of a college chaplain demonstrate an ability to articulate an understanding of:
– the nature and purpose of higher education
– the experience and perspective of the student, faculty, staff, and administrator in higher education
– human growth and development (faith, moral, spiritual) and how psycho-social, developmental, cultural and ethical dynamics affect pastoral practices
– the interrelatedness of the religious life of the institution, the chaplain, the church, and higher education.
C. The administrative skills of a college chaplain display abilities to:
– develop and sustain effective professional relationships by being active in denominational and professional organizations of ministry
– minister in an interfaith and multi-cultural environment
– minister collaboratively
– initiate and sustain relationship with other college or university professionals.
3. Personal Competencies
A person ministering on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a believing, practicing Christian whose spiritual life is grounded in the Christian tradition and who:
– articulates knowledge of and faith in the teaching of Christ and the church and shares this knowledge, gifts and talents
– nourishes this faith and knowledge through membership in a worshiping community, prayer and personal spiritual direction, annual retreats and continuing education events
– publicly adheres to the teachings of the Reformed tradition and the PCCA Code of Ethics
– demonstrates a healthy integration of one's own sexuality
– demonstrates a balanced life-style, showing concern for the emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual components of one's own life
– manages stress, arbitrates conflict, accepts failure and ambiguity in morally and socially acceptable ways.