NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC CHAPLAINS
CHAPLAIN RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATION PROCESS GUIDE
Purpose: Renewal of Certification is the process by which persons certified by the NACC demonstrate their
commitment to maintenance and enhancement of the competencies recognized by certification.
Renewal of Certification is the next step in the certification process, building on recommendations
from the previous renewal of certification or the original certification. This renewal is achieved
primarily through continuing education in personal, professional and theological areas in support of
one’s work as a chaplain.
Function: Renewal of Certification for chaplains includes:
1. renewal of certification application form
2. renewal of certification application fee
3. recording of continuing education
4. peer review
5. a current statement of ecclesiastical endorsement
Instructions: To retain certification status within the NACC, chaplains are required to:
1. provide documentation of continuing education hours
2. have a peer review meeting every 5 years
3. receive ecclesiastical endorsement by the Bishop in the diocese of the applicant’s residence,
or by the applicant’s Major Superior or by the applicant’s Ordinary if the applicant is a
Diocesan priest or deacon. As indicated in the renewal of certification application, the
NACC will request the endorsement letter and will request that a copy be mailed directly to
Continuing Education Record Keeping:
1. Certified chaplains are asked to record their continuing education hours yearly during the five-year period to
reflect consistent and intentional educational updating.
2. Categories for continuing education parallel the current Standards (Section 400) for certification. Please make
sure you have a copy of the most current Standards. You can access the Standards on the NACC website at
www.nacc.org or obtain a copy from the National Office for a fee.
3. Thirty (30) hours of educational activities are required for 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004. 50 hours are
required for 2005, a total of 170 hours if you are renewing certification in 2006.
4. When recording the educational activities, an ”hour” is equal to 60 minutes. A minimum of 10 hours is
required in each of the three categories: Personal, Professional and Theological. Based on the
recommendations of your previous peer review or certification interview, or the areas where you determine
your need for growth, the other 20 hours can be divided to meet your needs.
5. A continuing education activity may only be counted once. For example, if time to prepare a program is
counted and the program is given multiple times, the preparation time can be counted once.
6. Routine activities which occur as a part of the applicant’s professional job description cannot be submitted
as continuing education activities.
7. At least five hours submitted for each year must reflect the applicant’s attendance at rather than the
presentation of seminars, workshops, or conferences. Please indicate on your record of continuing
education whether you attended or presented by designating the activities as “A” for attended or “P” for
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8. For all activities listed on the record of continuing education please include title and author of all books and
names of presenters and titles of all programs. If using an acronym or abbreviation, please define it at least
once in the written record.
9. While we encourage you to use your own judgment in selecting continuing education activities, we are
assigning the following hour limits:
Spiritual Direction 4 hours per year
Retreat 1 hour per day of retreat
Therapy/Professional Supervision 4 hours per year
Educational Materials including books, articles, and audio/video recordings –
Up to 25 hours per year are permitted.
Volunteer Service to the National Association of Catholic Chaplains –
Up to 10 hours per year are permitted.
Please note this is only for volunteer service to the NACC that is of an educational value to you.
1. Peer Review:
The certified chaplain, in the renewal of certification year, arranges for an hour-long peer review session.
The peer reviewer must be an active certified NACC member. It is anticipated that the chaplain will seek
out a pastoral, but objective, peer reviewer. The applicant should not have a reporting relationship with
their peer reviewer.
Having set up the hour-long peer review meeting, the chaplain sends the following materials to the peer
reviewer (allowing ample time for review):
a copy of recommendations from last interview or peer review
a completed copy of the Renewal of Certification Education Report Form
Renewal of Certification Process Guide
Renewal of Certification Peer Review Form
The verbal agenda of the one-hour session should reference the Process Guide.
2. The written peer review contains three sections:
In this section, the peer reviewer writes one paragraph summarizing the process of the peer review:
beginning, middle and end.
In this section, the peer reviewer identifies the content of the peer review, identifying:
the meaning and effectiveness of the continuing education activities for the chaplain
an update regarding the chaplain’s personal, professional, and theological development with
significant changes in the 5-year period
progress on recommendations made to the chaplain from the previous interview or peer review
discussion of the chaplain’s plans for future development
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In this section, the peer reviewer writes recommendations that flow from the process and content.
Recommendations are related to the personal, professional, and theological development of the
applicant and should include future plans for maintaining and enhancing the applicant’s
The peer reviewer signs the Renewal of Certification Peer Review Form. This Peer Review Form is
sent back to the chaplain for their signature.
2. The chaplain sends to the National Office:
the Renewal of Certification Application
the Renewal of Certification fee
the Renewal of Certification Education Report Form
the Renewal of Certification Peer Review Form
The chaplain retains copies for his/her own file for future purposes.
3. After all required materials are received, The National Office will request the letter of ecclesiastical
endorsement by the Bishop in the diocese of the applicant’s residence, by the applicant’s Major Superior, or
the applicant’s Ordinary if the applicant is a Diocesan priest or deacon.
4. A Certification Commissioner will determine those who meet the standards for renewal of certification and
will forward the applicant’s name and/or materials to the full Commission for review and vote at the next
Certification Commission meeting. The National Office will notify the applicant of the renewal of
certification decision and issue a new certificate.
Please note: The renewal of certification application, the ecclesiastical endorsement letter and a copy of
the certificate are kept in the National Office files.
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GUIDE FOR PEER REVIEW
These questions serve as a guide for chaplain and peer reviewer to reflect on the chaplain's continuing
education experiences and ministry and to formulate future plans for maintaining and enhancing competencies.
410.1 Personal Competencies
410.3214: What have you learned from your experience about your own strengths and limits?
410.12: What would you describe as the major movements in your relationships with God,
self and others?
410.13: How do you provide for your on-going emotional health?
410.16: Describe an event in which you experienced conflict. How did you resolve this?
410.17: What have you learned about your own ability to cope with stress?
How does this impact your ministry?
410.2 Theological Competencies
410.3215: Name and describe the theological belief/s that influence your pastoral relationships.
Share a recent story that shows how these beliefs interface with the theological themes
the person is wrestling with in the midst of suffering.
410.22: Reflect on the theological themes of the past five years that you have discussed with
patients/families. Share these through clinical vignettes.
410.23: What faith groups do you interact with most often outside your own tradition? What are
you learning about the religious practices of these faith groups?
410.24: Reflect on the spiritual themes that challenge your theology. Describe your process of
awareness, your struggle and your response to these theological questions.
410.25: What ethical concerns do you discuss most often with patients/families? Discuss your
understanding of these concerns and what principles guide you in your pastoral role?
410.321 Pastoral Care
410.3211: Drawing from your recent ministry experience, provide examples of a pastoral
assessment, which includes the articulation of a specific intervention, evaluation and a
future pastoral care plan.
410.3216: Briefly describe a vignette in which you assisted a patient find meaning in his/her
experience of suffering, grief or loss.
410.3213: What are the key cultural/ethnic differences in your geographical area? Give an
example of how you modify your pastoral functioning to meet the unique needs of
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410.322 Human Relations
410.3221: Recall a ministry event in which you later recognized your failure to hear a patient's key
message. What inhibited your ability to engage in active listening? What might you do
differently to avoid this in the future?
410.3222: Do you prefer intervening in chronic or acute ministry experiences? What insights do
you have regarding this preference?
410.3223: What is most challenging for you in ministry: initiating, deepening, or terminating
pastoral encounters? Formulate a specific goal that would enhance your ability to
minister more effectively in the area that is most challenging for you?
410.14: What individuals or groups do you utilize to reflect upon and evaluate your pastoral
functioning? Are you satisfied with the feedback and challenge you are receiving?
What would you like to do differently?
410.3231: Describe some of the ways you have experienced your leadership skills, noting areas of
410.15: How have you grown in your ability to facilitate decision-making using religious heritage,
theological values and knowledge of human behaviors? What has been most helpful to
you? Name some difficult moments.
410.324 Professional Accountability
410.3243: Describe yourself as a valuable collaborator
in your place of ministry?
on an interdisciplinary team?
in the total person care plan?
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