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Over 25 chaplains of different faiths gathered on the campus of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS] March 5 and 6, 2018 to assess and certify clinical chaplains serving in hospitals, long-term care, and hospice.  The seminary hosted certification meetings for the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. [BCCI], the national certifying body affiliated with the Association of Professional Chaplains [ACPE].

Sarah Byrne-Martelli, a Board Certified Chaplain endorsed by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and a Doctor of Ministry student at Saint Vladimir’s, co-chaired the event.  Priest Adrian Budica, a Board Certified Chaplain, ACPE Certified Educator, and Director of Field Education at SVOTS, served as a committee member.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our entire seminary community to learn more about chaplaincy—including the board certification process—and for APC members of various faith traditions to learn about Orthodoxy in general, and about our seminary in particular,” said Father Adrian.

The BCCI Certification Program is designed to elevate professional chaplaincy standards and to designate professional chaplains who demonstrate the competencies essential to the practice of spiritual care.  Additional information is available online.

Since 2012, all Master of Divinity students at Saint Vladimir’s have been required to complete one unit of ACPE-accredited Clinical Pastoral Education [CPE].  Under Father Adrian’s directorship, the program was expanded to offer introductory CPE sessions to all students as part of their first-year prison ministry.  Saint Vladimir’s Seminary is also in the process of becoming a CPE center for students interested in part-time or full-time ministry and board certification as chaplains.