Advanced Certification: Hospice Palliative Chaplain Certification – The National Association of Catholic Chaplains #hospice #and #palliative #care

#hospice chaplain certification


Advanced Certification:
Hospice Palliative Chaplain Certification

About Advanced Certification of Hospice Palliative Chaplaincy (ACHPC)

Palliative Medicine is a discipline that cultivates in each practitioner (nurse, physician, chaplain, social worker etc.) a servant’s heart and a sage’s mind. One’s effectiveness in this specialty can never be adequately assessed within a set of competencies and/or prescribed guidelines but rather in the human crucible of an integrated, interdisciplinary practice that draws equally from each one’s soulfulness as well as from each one’s skill and life experiences.

This specialty certification IS NOT about acquiring greater power or prestige, or mastering a particular set of skills/competencies or securing additional letters after one’s name, or delivering a stellar performance at the time of the interview.

This certification IS a special invitation for an individual candidate to go more deeply in one’s own spiritual life and to learn the way of the wounded healer – the way of authenticity, compassion, forgiveness, and healing. This disposition of mind and heart is cultivated from the inside out and flourishes in an environment where honesty, humility, and courage are in ample supply.

This certification process invites the candidate to befriend the blessing of paradox and begin to weave a tapestry of harmony within oneself (in solitude) and with others (in community). This process builds upon the foundational belief that “the patient and I are essentially the same” and in this actual ministering of one to the other (patient, family, staff, team members etc.) blest and broken, we become sacrament for each other and a living sign of God’s healing redemptive love in our world. Facilitation of this part of the certification assessment process will invite each candidate to draw from a living palette that evokes a blend of head and heart and is reflective of the human experience – both of the candidate and of those he/she serves.

The interview team will be interdisciplinary and will be specifically assessing the candidate for indications of ones’ personal integration and ongoing formation, as demonstrated by:

  • Major loss integration
  • Self-awareness understanding
  • Human to human availability
  • Understanding of relevant concepts
  • Team collaboration, leadership and education contributions

The interview team will discern together each applicant’s desire and capability to be a leader/innovator in recognizing and fostering an Interdisciplinary Team’s (IDT) continuing development in the areas of team respect, openness to new ideas and perspectives, and compassion for all involved in the palliative care/hospice arena. At the completion of the interview, the Interview Team votes to recommend or not to recommend the Applicant to the Certification Commission for certification. It is the decision of the Certification Commission to certify or not to certify.


  • You must be a full member in good standing with the NACC.
  • You must be Board Certified as an NACC Chaplain or Supervisor.
  • You must have at least 500 hours of documented direct spiritual care ministry dedicated to palliative care or hospice (e.g. patient and family visits, ethics consultations, family conferences, medical record documentation).
  • You must have completed extensive education in the field of palliative care, hospice philosophy and/or thanatology.
  • You must have ten hours (not in succession) of direct clinical supervision or professional consultation regarding one’s personal and professional growth in palliative care or hospice ministry (conducted by the CPE supervisor or other member of the interdisciplinary team that provides supervision).

Upon contacting the office for you will receive:

  • The application for Advanced Certification as a Hospice Palliative Chaplain
  • The Checklist for Supportive Materials required for Advanced Certification as a Hospice Palliative Chaplain
  • NACC Certification Procedures Manual for Advanced Certification as Hospice Palliative Chaplain

The National Association of Catholic Chaplains advocates for the profession of spiritual care and educates, certifies, and supports chaplains, clinical pastoral educators, and all members who continue the healing ministry of Jesus in the name of the Church.

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