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Updates & Announcements

Share your Passion: Serve on a Certification Committee June 19-21 in Houston

Are you a Board Certified Chaplain?  Are you passionate about the profession of chaplaincy and your colleagues?  Do you want to have a lasting impact on your profession?  If your answers are yes, BCCI would like you to consider serving on certification committees while attending APC’s annual conference in Houston, Texas.   Read how one former Certification Committee member feels about the privilege and responsibility of serving on a Certification Committee.
“I really believe that this is one of the most important chaplain events that I participate in, because I get to be with the most dedicated and dependable of my professional colleagues.  In addition to welcoming new colleagues and providing a service to BCCI, participating in this event reminds me of my calling, reconnects me with my own competency as a chaplain and pushes me to stay focused on what is most important in my professional life.  I am honored to serve in this way.” – Area 6 Certification Committee member
If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, please read below for additional information and details:

  • Committee members attend an orientation meeting on Monday, June 19 at 7:00 p.m.

  • Each committee member serves in four interviews - two on Tuesday June 20 and two on Wednesday June 21.   

  • Each committee member serves as a committee chair for one interview, as a committee presenter for another interview, and then as a committee member for the other two.   

  • Certified chaplains may include up to 10 hours of service to APC/BCCI on their annual continuing education report. Serving on certification committees (preparation as well as meeting time) qualifies for this requirement.  

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: BCCI reimburses meals from Monday night through lunch on Thursday. Committee members either share a hotel room or are reimbursed for half the rate for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Because it is assumed that committee members are attending the conference, transportation costs are NOT reimbursed, unless it is a local member traveling back and forth each day. 

Committee members are responsible for making their own hotel reservations. Since it is the annual conference, members pay for their lodging and then are reimbursed by BCCI.  If there is an extenuating circumstance, please contact Carol Pape
Please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity to support the development of future chaplains by e-mailing  Thank you for your consideration and compassion. We hope to see you all in Texas!

BCCI® Certification Updates (published in APC Forum, June 2016)

The Commission on Certification meets 10-12 times per year to tend to many tasks. Among their duties: review applications from candidates already certified by partner organizations, assess appeals and identify ways to improve the certification process.
The following changes to the certification application process have been approved and are effective immediately: 
  • Endorsement letters may now be emailed or faxed directly from the faith group (or sent by mail as before.)
  • Undergraduate degree transcripts are no longer required except in the case of a theological education equivalency application. Those applicants who do not need an equivalency do not need to submit an undergraduate degree transcript.
  • Graduate degree transcripts must be originals, but do not need to be in a sealed envelope.
  • As noted in the July 2015 issue of APC e-News, all competencies must be addressed in the essays. As a result, the essay cover sheet which required check-marking the competencies included in the essay, is no longer required.
  • The final disposition of materials form is no longer required. Applicants should keep a copy of all of their materials prior to sending to the BCCI® office. BCCI® staff will no longer return materials to an applicant, unless the application is incomplete. After a candidate has met with a committee, all materials will be shredded.
  • As noted in the February 2016 issue of APCTM Forum, evaluations from the applicant’s CPE units 1-3 are no longer required. An applicant can submit a copy of a certificate of completion OR a verification transcript for these units. The supervisor and self evaluations for the 4th unit are still required.
The following change will be effective for all subsequent appearance applications submitted beginning January 1, 2017:
  • A Chaplain Clinical Contact demonstrating one or more of the missed competencies will now be required to be submitted along with an additional essay.

BCCI® Certification Updates (published in APC Forum, February 2016)

Change in documentation of required units of CPE for certification.

The Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc.® (BCCI®) has implemented a change in the documentation required for units of CPE. The former requirement was to submit the supervisor and self-evaluations for each of the units required (four units for board certified chaplain and two units for associate certified chaplain.)  Now, the candidate will need to submit a Verification Transcript for the first unit(s), and the supervisor and self-evaluation for only the last unit.

The reasons behind the change are multiple: First, it is less for certification committee members to read. Second, it helps to keep the committee focused on demonstration of competencies not on CPE outcomes. Third, it will assist candidates who are not able to obtain the evaluations from units taken long ago. Lastly, it saves some trees!

In certification (not CPE), verbatims are now called “Chaplain Clinical Contacts.”

Certification interview committee members need to “see” the work of a candidate in order to determine demonstration of the competencies. One method used for this insight is the two verbatims required to be submitted by the applicant.

Over the years, applicants have asked for a template for the verbatims. Additionally, feedback from committee members has indicated that many applicants take a verbatim that has been completed for CPE and recycle it to submit with the application. The problem with using a CPE verbatim is that the purpose is for growth and learning toward CPE outcomes, not necessarily to demonstrate competency.

Beginning at the 2015 APC Annual Conference in June, a task force took on the task of developing materials to help an applicant write verbatims to demonstrate the competencies. The work of the task force has been completed and can be seen in the new Chaplain Clinical Contact Cover Sheet now found on the BCCI® website. And to emphasize the difference in purpose between CPE verbatims and the requirement for certification, the nomenclature has been changed.  BCCI® will now refer to these narratives as “Chaplain Clinical Contacts.”

In addition to a different name, the cover sheet has instructions for the applicant, a format for the narrative and important information regarding HIPAA and items that MUST be removed before sending in the narrative.

If you have questions on these changes or anything else regarding certification, please contact the national office staff at

Applicants, Mentors and Supervisors, Be Mindful of HIPAA Regulations (published in APC Forum, September 2015)

BCCI® has seen a recent increase in HIPAA violations by certification candidates. These are not in any way intentional, but nonetheless, HIPAA is the law and BCCI®’s Commission on Certification takes it seriously. Any applicant with a HIPAA violation must wait six months before reapplying for certification. In an effort to decrease the number of violations, please be aware of the following...Read More

BCCI® Certification Application Updates (effective 9/18/15)

The following updates to BCCI® requirements were initially announced in the July 2015 issue of APCTM e-News. These changes are effective September 18, 2015.
The Association of Professional ChaplainsTM (APCTM), with its affiliate the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc®. (BCCI®), has over 450 faith groups and churches that are recognized by our organization. Our board of directors recently affirmed the requirement of a letter of endorsement/support for certification and maintenance of certification. Our process for confirming endorsement/support has not changed. The national office will review letters of endorsement/support to ensure they are being issued by the proper authority in your faith group. We appreciate the commitment of faith groups to notify us if a chaplain is no longer endorsed or supported for ministry as a chaplain.We will continue to notify the faith group when a chaplain's certification has not been maintained. The relationship between APCTM/BCCI® and the various faith groups is a valued one.

Faith Group Documentation Requirements

The board also announced an important change related to qualifications for board certification. Each faith group has its own requirements for ordination, commissioning or recognition of laypersons. Because ecclesiastical requirements differ broadly among the diverse faith groups we recognize, BCCI® will no longer require evidence of ordination, commissioning, etc. as of June 8, 2015. The board of directors knows that our faith groups set the parameters for endorsement/support. Therefore, if a faith group requires a chaplain to be ordained, commissioned or otherwise trained and awarded designation, the group will ensure that all is in order prior to issuing a letter to BCCI® in support of that chaplain as a candidate for certification.
Other Important Updates

Transcripts: Candidates are now required to send official transcripts with their application - not copies.
Essays and Chaplain Clinical Contactss: ALL competencies must be addressed in the essays.  Competencies may still be demonstrated and noted in Chaplain Clinical Contact narratives, but the candidate must also write about them in the essays. See the "Competencies Chaplains must Demonstrate, with Writing Guide" for assistance.

For further information, e-mail

BCCI® Revisits CPE Unit Requirements (published in APC e-News, February 2015)
At its June, 2013 meeting, the BCCI® board of directors changed the "double dipping" rule and allowed units of CPE which were part of a theological education degree to be also counted towards the CPE requirement for certification. This decision led to an unintended consequence - educational institutions began looking for ways to incorporate all four units of CPE into their 72-hour (or less) graduate degrees.

After hearing from several such institutions, the certification commission reviewed and discussed what a program like this would mean for the training of professional chaplains. The commission considered the roles of conceptual learning and experiential learning in the development of professional chaplains. They found both types of learning to be imperative aspects of training.

As a result, when the BCCI® board of directors met in November 2014, they approved the recommendation from the commission to allow only one unit of CPE to be counted for both theological education hours as documented on a transcript and for the CPE requirement. Additional units must be counted either toward theological education requirement OR the CPE requirement, not both. If you have any questions, please contact BCCI® at