Baptist Health Paducah is accepting applicants now for the fall semester of its accredited chaplain program.
James Wright, director of pastoral care, said the program is open to people who seek board certification as professional chaplains, as well as clergy who wish to
enhance their pastoral skills, ministry students who need clinical hours in their formal studies and qualified lay staff who wish to assist in pastoral care.
To complete the program, accepted students must complete 1600 hours of training over four semesters. Each semester includes a minimum of 400 hours, including at least 100 hours of supervised instruction and 300 hours of clinical ministry.
Each semester involves on-the-job training with theological education in the hospital setting. Curriculum includes pastoral skills and integration of theology with the behavioral sciences.
Students earn their clinical credit by spending about 25 hours a week as interns in the chaplain program at Baptist Health Paducah. For their service, the hospital Auxiliary supplements their tuition, reducing the cost to $550 per semester.
Wright, certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education Inc. as a supervisor, and his staff provide the instruction.
Since the program started in 2005, about 100 students have completed it and now serve hospitals throughout the U.S., including Baptist Health Paducah and Lourdes.
Applicants seeking board certification must hold a master’s degree from a divinity school, but other students can participate. A program brochure, course syllabus and application form are available by contacting Myra Claus at 270.575.2961 orMyra.Claus@bhsi.com.