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CERTIFICATION INFORMATION

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CERTIFICATION RENEWAL

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THE AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL CHAPLAINS ASSOCIATION
FOUNDED 1885

BECOMING A CERTIFIED CORRECTIONAL CHAPLAIN

HOW TO BEGIN THE PROCESS?

A.    You may begin the process near the completion of the required one year experience as a correctional chaplain. However, you are urged to begin the process at the time that you decide to pursue a career in correctional chaplaincy. A certified correctional chaplain may be assigned to provide guidance as you obtain the needed credentials and experience (mentor). Upon the documentation of the credentials, you will become an "approved applicant for certification." This can be a valuable document to have in obtaining a correctional chaplaincy position

B.    Send a letter requesting the Application Form or use the application form on this WEB SITE. Return the Form with all written materials and documentation listed under REQUIREMENTS for the category of certification you are seeking, plus the $10.00 application fee. This fee is non-refundable but will care for your application through setting of the certification interview. Your packet of materials will be in the hands of your mentor who will assist you in providing the required documents and will notify the Chair of Certification when the materials are complete. Those materials will be reviewed by 3 certified members. If they concur, this will be reported to the certification committee and you will be become an "approved applicant for certification."

C.   When all materials are received and in good order, and you have completed 1 year as a professional correctional chaplain, a letter will be sent to you to that effect.

D.   When all fees are paid, a place and time for the candidate to meet with the interview committee will be set. If at all possible your Presenter will be your Mentor or a Presenter will be appointed for the candidate to assist the candidate during the interview meeting.

E.    At the end of the interview, the interview committee will indicate the recommendation which will be sent to the Certification Committee for vote. This recommendation will be for approval or non-approval for Certification, or for In Care Status with recommendations for continuing work toward Certification.

F.    A Certificate will be sent to an approved candidate, and a notification letter to an appropriate authority as requested by the candidate.

WHERE DO I SEND THE MATERIALS AND FEES ?

All materials, fees, and other correspondence regarding, Certification by the ACCA are to be directed to:

Janet Casey-Allen
P.O. Box 20337
Indianapolis, IN 46220
Phone: (317) 698-4722
E-Mail: jcaseyallen@gmail.com

To print out form click Form

 

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ACCA CERTIFICATION

The aim of certification by the ACCA is to establish and utilize particular standards by which competence in correctional ministry can be recognized.

Correctional chaplaincy is a unique vocation and calling. Persons incarcerated in our jails and prisons deserve a professional correctional chaplain who is familiar with and able to serve effectively in such a multi-cultural and multi-faith setting.

Correctional chaplaincy includes work in correctional administration and within the framework of the various institutions. The work includes pastoral care which creates an atmosphere in which both prisoner and staff feel the ministry of presence provided by the correctional chaplain.

The ACCA encourages all correctional chaplains to continue to grow within their chosen field by meeting the qualifications of a Certified Correctional Chaplain.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION

1.     Membership in the ACCA.

2.     Ecclesiastical endorsement from religious endorsing agency of the candidate’s faith or religious judicatory.

3.     Education:
As described for the level of certification being sought.

4.     Clinical Pastoral Education as required for the level of certification being sought, one unit may be an approved equivalent. Documentation of CPE includes the self evaluation and CPE Supervisor evaluation of the unit.  Questions on equivalency may be directed to the Chair of the Certification Committee.

5.     One year full-time experience in a correctional setting as a chaplain.

6.     Adhere to the ACCA CODE OF ETHICS

7.     Payment of required fees ($10.00 with application and $50 when face-to-face interview is set with the Certification Committee.)

8.     Official copies and/or formal written documentation of the above requirements, 1 through 5.

9.     Letters of recommendation as required for the level of certification being sought:

a.      letter from immediate supervisor,

b.     letters from persons of candidate’s choice.

10.                        Written paper demonstrating the competencies of a chaplain in a correctional setting, length as described in the category of certification being sought.

11.                        Autobiography addressing personal, professional, and faith development (350-500) words.

12.                        Dated Verbatim/s demonstrating pastoral competency as required for the category of certification being sought.

13.                        Meet in person with an interview committee. This interview will focus on the Theory of Pastoral Care Competencies (TPC), Identity and Conduct Competencies (IDC), Pastoral Competencies (PAS), and Professional Competencies (PRO) as required for the level of certification being sought.

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ACCA CERTIFICATION COMMITTEE

 

EQUIVALENCIES TO CPE REQUIREMENT FOR CERTIFICATION

There is a requirement for the completion of units of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education), the number of units required depends upon the level of certification.  Although one unit of CPE is required for all levels of certification, there are alternatives to the standard method of obtaining clinical education (CPE) for the additional units and those requirements may be achieved through a variety of pastoral training programs/experiences which enable the candidate to achieve the competencies outlined in the requirements for ACCA certification.

Equivalencies to CPE must be approved by the Certification Committee. The candidate shall clearly state the reason for seeking acceptance of equivalency education and why completion of the CPE requirement was not possible. Equivalencies may include the following:

1.   A clinical educational experience for an equivalency unit that:

a.     Shall have completed a minimum of 400 hours, including supervised pastoral ministry and/or clinical practices. Candidate shall clearly define the nature of the ministry and/or clinical practice.

b.      Shall have included individual supervision of pastoral ministry and/or clinical practice.

c.      Shall include didactic sessions on professional functioning and theological reflection.

d.      Shall include interpersonal sharing in a peer group.

e.      Shall include attention to personal, professional identity issues.

f.        Shall include a detailed written evaluation from the candidate and the candidate’s supervisor addressing the above 5 items.

g.      The credentials of the supervisor providing the equivalent experience shall be approved by the Certification Committee.

2.   A doctoral degree or another graduate degree related to pastoral care may meet the criteria for at least one (1) equivalency unit of CPE.

3.   Educational programs which include individual and group supervision, learning objectives, practice of ministry, seminars, written accounts of ministry, integration of theology and the behavioral sciences, interdisciplinary team relationships, and in-depth written evaluations by student and supervisor/instructor may meet the criteria for one (1) equivalency unit of CPE (400 hours). This requirement shall be separate from similar field work or other requirements required for any degree program.


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Certification Categories, The American Correctional Chaplains Association (ACCA)

Recommended by the Certification Committee and Approved by the Executive Council on August 9, 2008, affirmed by our Certified Members, to be implemented January 1, 2009.

 There shall be three categories:  1) Basic Certified Chaplain, 2) Certified Correctional Chaplain, and Certified Clinical Correctional Chaplain.   All three categories require the following:  At least 1 year or 2000 hours of experience as a correctional chaplain, ACCA membership, ordination or licensing for ministry, ecclesiastical endorsement by a recognized faith group for ministry in a specialized setting, agreement with the ACCA code of ethics, 350-500-word autobiography, a narrative statement of pastoral care and chaplaincy addressing the competencies specified, documentation of all requirements, certification fee, and an interview by a Certification Interview Committee.  The three categories are:

 (1) Basic Certified Correctional Chaplain.  In addition to the requirements for all categories noted above, other requirements include:  at least one unit of clinical pastoral education (CPE provided by the ACPE, CAPPE or NACC); at least 12 credits of counseling, psychology, or pastoral care courses, and at least three credits in religion at the bachelor’s or master’s level; two letters of recommendation, at least one of which will be from a facility supervisor; be willing to accept a Certified Correctional Chaplain “mentor” for consultation as needed and on a periodic basis; one dated verbatim  representing the chaplain’s current level of functioning; a narrative statement on the chaplain’s pastoral care and chaplaincy work of approximately 1000 words demonstrating and citing the competencies listed below for a “Basic Certified Chaplain;” and other work as might be deemed needed to develop competencies to fulfill the role of a chaplain in a correctional setting as determined through the interview process.

(2) Certified Correctional Chaplain.  In addition to the requirements for all categories noted above, other requirements include:  at least two units of clinical pastoral education (CPE provided by the ACPE, CAPPE or NACC; one unit may be an equivalent unit, per ACCA guidelines); three letters, at least one of which will be from a facility supervisor; master’s degree in religion, social science or related field from an institution accredited by either the Association of Theological Schools or one of the regional Association of Colleges and Schools (www.chea.org) or equivalent; two dated verbatim  representing the chaplain’s current level of functioning; a narrative statement of the chaplain’s pastoral care and chaplaincy work of approximately 2000 words demonstrating and citing the competencies listed below for a “Certified Correctional Chaplain;”

(3) Certified Clinical Correctional Chaplain.  In addition to the requirements for all categories noted above, other requirements include: at least four units of clinical pastoral education (CPE provided by the ACPE, CAPPE or NACC; one unit may be an equivalent unit, per ACCA guidelines); four letters, at least one of which will be from a facility supervisor; master’s degree of a minimum of 72 semester hours or 108 quarter hours of credit in religion, social science or related field from an institution accredited by either the Association of Theological Schools or one of the regional Association of Colleges and Schools (www.chea.org) or equivalent; two dated verbatim  representing the chaplain’s current level of functioning one of which must have been in the past year; a narrative statement of the chaplain’s pastoral care and chaplaincy work of approximately 2000 words demonstrating and citing the competencies listed below for a “ Certified Clinical Correctional Chaplain.”

Competencies

Competencies to be demonstrated for each of the above categories are paralleling the competencies required for certified chaplains by the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) as established by the Spiritual Care Collaborative.

Theory of Pastoral Care Competencies (TPC)                                                             Pastoral Competencies (PAS)
Identity and Conduct Competencies (IDC)                                                                   Professional Competencies (PRO)

 Basic Certified Chaplain