Kettering Health: Coming Together to Ordain Our Chaplains
Story by Christina Kerosoma
Being a faith-based institution allows our executives, physicians, and employees the opportunity to offer spiritual support. Among those who extend this vital component of care, chaplains carry a big responsibility to meet the needs of not only patients but also staff, nurses, physicians, and leaders.
Who is a chaplain?
A chaplain is a certified clergy member who provides spiritual and emotional care. Many of Kettering Health’s chaplains have graduated from seminary or are going through seminary training. They work hard to provide an atmosphere of spiritual support to those around them. For many Adventist chaplains, they don’t stop fulfilling their spiritual calling when they leave the hospital. They continue to work with local churches and serve on their off time. This has led some to ask, “Why don’t we ordain these hardworking servants of God?”
The Start of Something New
The North American Division confirmed that no entity or organizations in the United States or the world church ordained hospital chaplains. So, Kettering Health and Adventist HealthCare, with the Columbia Union Conference and other local conferences, came together to create a committee to set out and make a policy for chaplain ordination within the two health systems.
Chaplains must work with their healthcare organization’s Director of Spiritual Care to begin the three to four year process of becoming ordained.