How do people maintain virtues of hope, joy and love and not be overrun by becoming bitter, despairing or resentful?
Enter the Chaplain--a skilled spiritual person assisting other people of faith to discover God's presence in his/her life, build a vibrant prayer life, learn spiritual tools for discernment and decision-making, and develop a close relationship with God. Christians who are serious about their faith recognize they can't do it alone.
As a Chaplain I will be able to offer a helping relationship to anyone seeking answers to spiritual questions and wanting to develop a spiritual background that supports their call. I can offer advice about solving problems as a pastoral counselor and help a person tap into God's guidance and to sort out God's voice from other pulls or tugs that come from the culture or elsewhere.
As a trained Chaplain I will provide counseling or therapy that is consistent with my skill level. My role will be to help individuals deal with a particular issue where they feel stuck. A Chaplain is using a microscope to help in locating and dissecting the problem for effective remediation.. A Clergyperson asks, Where is God in this particular situation? That person would be using a telescope to identify that a problem exists.
Many lay people become interested in seeking a Chaplain's guidance when facing life-altering decisions like whether to change careers, move to another city, or choose a marriage partner.
God has given each one of us the key to understand our inner souls. I don't think we were taught to trust that feeling by ourselves but were made to understand with clarification from your clergy.
Choosing the career path of a Chaplain should also be guided by faith. You should meet with other Chaplains and/or clergy to get a sense of the job and then to choose, as time allows, the path you will take.
People are going to ask, 'How will I know this is the right path?' I would then have to respond by saying 'I don't know, but I know you'll know.'
It's already moving out into the world as Chaplains apply their ministry in hospitals, homes for the elderly, prisons or homeless shelters.
Immigrants often lack extended family and trust the church as a place where they can be listened to. Occasionally that is not enough and the Christians will seek the friendliness of the Chaplain as they can counsel at the person's home or living abode. Sometimes the people may choose the atmosphere of the Church setting. The really important thing to me is that the troubled person has someone to talk to and confide in while seeking spiritual and emotional answers.
Students quite often will be an excellent choice for enrolling in the Chaplaincy program as it gives them a real opportunity to see how people of the community may have a multitude of problem both spiritual and being a human in general. A good portion may not have received a "calling" but it is critical for questions to be answered. Students will come to a sense of their own answers within. Speaking with different clergy men and women gave me a birds-eye view of the profession (calling in general). I would only suggest this program to require you to visit different clergies and not just your own faith.
Students' deepest dreams or desires are planted by God and the students need to sense God's deep love for them. What will bring someone the greatest fulfillment, greatest joy and peace? A student's desire, a dream, if they really listen, is not going to go against who they are and who God has created them to be in their uniqueness.