Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

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There's Room for Everyone to Serve

Editorial by Jorge Aguero

In a previous issue, we featured a group identified as chaplains. This raised questions about the role and function of members and chaplains, and I want to clarify.

In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, chaplains are ministers with conference-issued credentials who are granted ecclesiastical endorsement to serve in specialized ministries on school campuses, in corrections and healthcare facilities, the military, the workplace and community. Whether salaried or volunteer, before using the title chaplain, a person must complete required training and fieldwork.

Twenty-three years ago, when I enrolled in the Adventist chaplaincy program, I had already met the prerequisites: a master’s degree in religion, at least two years of experience as a pastor and references confirming I was a member in good standing. After completing the curriculum required by the Clinical Pastoral Education Association to work as an Adventist chaplain, I also had to obtain approval from the Church’s Chaplaincy Ministries department.

From this experience, I understand that a chaplain is a professional, trained to serve and minister in and on behalf of the Church. It takes years of education and experience and requires much more training than can be provided in one day or weekend. To learn more about current program requirements, visit

While not everyone wishes to pursue this specialized role in ministry, there’s room for every member to participate in the mission of reaching people for Jesus Christ. Let’s keep working together, sharing hope!

Click here to read in Spanish.

Jorge Aguero serves as president of the New Jersey Conference

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