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October 2019 Vol. 21 No. 6

A Message from APC President...
by Ronald C. Oliver MBA PhD BCC

An ant & elephant are crossing a sway bridge.  On the way across the ant proudly says, "Look how we are swaying this bridge." 

As I enter these final weeks of service as APC President and reflect on all that we’ve done, have going on, and are poised to do, I am amazed….  But, unlike that ant, I know who actually sways the bridge.  So, if you will, a few thank yous.  First, a grateful shout out to the Presidents under whom I served - David Johnson, Valerie Storms, Darryl Owens, Margie Atkinson, Kimberly Murman and, especially, Martha Rucker under whom I was honored to serve as President-Elect.  These remarkably capable and generous leaders each did their part to advance APC’s mission – I’m grateful to stand in their shadow.  The APC Board is a diverse group of creative and capable professionals who have been and are doing amazing work – their contribution to APC and the profession is truly incalculable...Read More



APC/BCCI Renewal Cycle: Ethics, C.E., Records...

The APC/BCCI annual renewal cycle is now underway, and we would like to take this moment to remind you that your renewal cycle is more than paying your invoices.  As members of APC and those that are certified chaplains with BCCI it is important that you also complete the following portions of your renewal.

  • Annual Ethics Accountability Statement:  Certified members of APC are required to sign and submit their annual ethics accountability statement as a requisite to continue with your certification.  You can submit your ethics accountability statement HERE.
Read More

How Are You and Your organization recognizing Pastoral Care Week/Spiritual Care Week?

This week marks the 2019 Pastoral Care Week/Spiritual Care Week.  APC encourages our members to share with us, and your colleagues how you and your institution mark this important week.  You can use the APC Facebook Discussion page to share your ideas and pictures or send them to us at and we will share them with others.  Sharing your ideas can help fuel participation for next year and beyond.

What is Evidence?
by Kelsey White, MDiv, MSc, BCC, Transforming Chaplaincy Fellow, PhD Student University of Louisville
with Ronald Oliver, PhD, MBA, BCC,APC President

The popularity of the word “evidence” these days sometimes makes it feel like it deserves its own hashtag. Any claim could be backed by evidence, but not every claim is backed by valid evidence.
For professional chaplains, scientific inquiry increasingly dominates how we and our colleagues use “evidence.” Clinicians strive to have as much evidence as possible to guide decisions and the provision of care. But what exactly does “evidence” mean?  In its simplest form, evidence is proof that backs up a claim.
What, then, counts as proof? Or, how much research does one need to have evidence? Read More


My 18 Year BCC Journey as a Military Chaplain
by Lt Col Brian Bohlman BCC, Air National Guard


After graduating with my M.Div. in August 2000, I immediately entered a one-year, four-unit CPE residency at a large community hospital with a Level 1 trauma center. As a new CPE student and hospital chaplain intern, I enjoyed learning new ministry skills that were not part of my seminary degree program, such as pastoral formation, pastoral competence, and pastoral reflection. In the middle of my third unit, I had to withdraw from my residency to attend mandatory military chaplain training to become a fully qualified Air Force Chaplain.


Within a few months after graduating from the Air Force Basic Chaplain Course, my entire life changed on September 11, 2001, when I was placed on active duty to support military operations at home and abroad
...Read More



Impact of Professional Spiritual Care

In December of 2018 APC, along with our Strategic Partners, published the digital book “The Impact of Professional Spiritual Care.”  This resource was designed to help chaplains inform colleagues, supervisors, potential employers and others about professional chaplaincy.   Since its publication, APC has received great feedback from our members who are successfully using the PDF/Flipbook as a resource to teach others about professional spiritual care and the impact it has for care recipients as well as institutions.

Inside “The Impact of Professional Spiritual Care” readers will find 4 sections that pertain to understanding professional chaplaincy, including: Demystifying Spiritual Care; Professional Chaplains Qualifications and Competencies; Professional Chaplains Standards of Practice; and The Evidence for Spiritual Care.  Each of these sections includes background, research and data on the benefits of spiritual care and the impact that professional chaplains bring to their institutions...Read More


A Lament of God’s People: Reflection of Psalm 42
by Jamie Martinez MDiv BCC

I am a chaplain in a level one trauma hospital.  Every day, I walk out the doors in wonderment, saying to myself "you can't make this stuff up". As many of my chaplain colleagues may understand—to step into a waiting room suffused with anxiety, to move into a hospital room with a story waiting to be heard is to find one's self on holy ground.  A place of longing and lament. It is not uncommon to hear a family praying to God for a miracle--with fervent hope--in one breath, and in the next breath hear them literally cry out with anger and sorrow to God. To lament is an act of faith. To sit with people in their lament is sacred. It is an act of bearing witness to the dance between sorrow and hope, fear and remembrance over and over again. I was invited to offer a reflection, based on Psalm 42, in a Good Friday service. I found myself thinking of what a modern lament would sound like through the voices of those with whom I have worked...Read More

Call for Best Practices: APC State Representatives and C.E. Chairs

November 1, 2019 will begin a new fiscal year for APC as well as a new leadership year for the association.  In addition to the new APC Board of Directors taking their offices, APC will also see a new class of state and local leaders that contribute much to the organization.  From feedback collected at the 2019 APC Conference in Orlando and contacts in the APC office, we would like to compile some best practices for our new and seasoned State Representatives and Continuing Education Chairs. 

To accomplish this, we are asking our current and former State Representatives and C.E. Chairs to share their experience and solutions to issues that arise in these positions...Read More 

CSU's January 2020 Cohort for "Essentials of Palliative Care Chaplaincy" 

California State University in conjunction with Association of Professional Chaplains is now accepting registrations for a new cohort for their course "Essentials of Palliative Care Chaplaincy" beginning January 22, 2020.  APC would like to remind our members that they receive a 10% discount on their registration by using the promo code.  This code is restricted to members only and you must log-into the member page to receive it.

Visit the CSU Institute for Palliative Care page to learn more about this exciting course.

Roots & Branches: A Multi-faith Chaplain’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, February 3-10, 2020

APC has joined NACC, NAJC, ACPE and CASC as a co-sponsor of Roots & Branches: A Multi-faith Chaplain’s Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, February 3-10, 2020. Led by Rabbi Dayle Friedman and Chaplain Mary T. O’Neill, this will be a spiritual journey, affording participants profound opportunities to encounter their own and one another’s spiritual roots and perspectives. We will visit holy sites, and also explore the complexities of contemporary Israeli society. We will meet with leaders of the emerging Israeli spiritual care profession, and hear about their struggles and innovations. Throughout all of this, we will take time for deep reflection and dialogue.
You can learn more about this unique opportunity by contacting Rabbi Dayle Friedman,



National Consensus Project: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition

Many people living with a serious illness who are receiving treatment for their condition, whether heart failure, lung disease, cancer or another illness, don’t have access to palliative care, which can make all the difference in how they feel physically, emotionally and spiritually. New palliative care guidelines set out to improve access to this care, which provides relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness; improves quality of life for both the patient and the patient’s family; and is provided concurrent with disease-focused treatments...Learn More

Resource Reviews for Continuing Education and Reference October 2019:

As Kingfishers Catch Fire
Eugene H. Peterson (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Waterbrook, 2017, 372 pages, hardcover, Ebook)

The Death Gap: How Inequality Kills
David A. Ansell, MD (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017, 240 pages, hardcover, paperback, Ebook, audiobook)

Re-enchanting the Activist: Spirituality and Social Change
Keith Hebden (London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017, 176 pages, paperback)

Read More



Roots & Branches: A Multi-Faith Chaplains' Pilgrimage to the Holy Land 

for professional chaplains from all faith backgrounds

February 3-10, 2020





APC extends our sympathy to the family and friends of members who have died. Memorials are listed on the website in alphabetical order by last name.

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