ACCC Fully Recognized by the Veterans Administration

After months of hard work by the ACCC Board, the Veterans Administration has provided an official letter recognizing us as a board certifying body, enabling our chaplains to apply and hold position within the government run health system. This approval does require that the chaplain be a U.S. Citizen, hold an MDiv. degree or equivalent, be endorsed by an approved denominational endorsing body and have obtained four units of CPE from a Department of Education Accredited Clinical Pastoral Education provider. Currently there are only two providers that meet this accreditation standard (ICPT and ACPE).

“If any health system, prison system, military body or other entity of any kind takes a few moments to read our process and see how we are incorporating the full measure of standards from both ICPT and ACPE in our board certifying process, they would realize the importance of recognizing the men and women who have sought certification with ACCC,” said Rev. Richard E. DeFord, BCC/BCPC and Chaplain Administrator for the Association of Certified Christian Chaplains.

  • To read about the certification process, click here.
  • To read the full writing requirement for the Board Certified Chaplain certification and how these essays and independent writing assignments tie into core competencies by the only two DoE Accredited CPE institutions, click here.

New Certification Added

In October 2020, the Veteran’s Administration revised their requirements for spiritual care providers/chaplains going forward. This change required modifications to our existing certification structure so that our chaplains can apply for chaplain positions within the VA and the Department of Defense.

Effective, January 14, 2021, Board Certified Chaplains with ACCC will be required to a)provide evidence of four units of CPE from U.S. Department of Education accredited CPE providers. Currently, the only two accredited CPE providers are the Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training and ACPE.

In addition, BCC applicants will need to provide evidence of their endorsement from a DoD approved endorser as well as provide transcripts for Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or higher from a U.S. Department of Education accredited institute for higher learning. There are additional essay requirements as well, designed for the candidate to write to the core competencies as established by BCCI. Dues for this new BCC certification will be $200 per calendar year and the application and testing fee is $520.

Because a large number of our applicants work in the private sector and do not have need of the ability to apply to the Veteran’s Administration for employment, we have created a new certification called a Board Endorsed Clinical Chaplain (BECC). This new certification is based on the requirements that have been the traditional Board Certified Chaplain certifications of ACCC’s past. Absolutely nothing has changed between this BECC certification and our former requirements for BCC. In addition, all individuals obtaining board certification prior to January 14, 2021 will retain their Board Certified Chaplain status with the understanding that this certification is not Department of Defense eligible. Those with this status before January 14, 2021 may opt to apply for the Department of Defense eligible BCC certification, provided they meet all requirements as put forth by the Department of Defense.

More information, including a description of our certifications can be found on our Certifications page found here.