A person making application for Board Certified Chaplain must meet the requirements of a Certified Clinical Chaplain as prerequisite. In addition a total of 4 units of ACPE accredited CPE are required. Evaluation before a peer review board is also required.


Qualifications for BCC:

  • 1. Possession of a Master of Divinity (M.Div) from an institution recognized by the Department of Education. 

  • 2. Completion of four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) from a training organization accredited by the United States Department of Education.

  • 3. Current Ecclesiastical Endorsement from an endorsing body recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • 4. Three years of full-time professional ministry experience.

    • A. Professional ministry experience is paid work in any ministry context, i.e., Spiritual Director / Counselor, Chaplain, Pastor, etc…

    • B. Part-time work is calculated to a three-year equivalency, i.e., if you work half time for six years that is a three-year equivalent.

    • C. Of those three years, 1 year must be in the role of a professional staff chaplain.

    • Full-time GS-9 VA Staff Chaplains who have completed their 1-year probationary period may apply for BCC.

    • Chaplains who have completed a full-year VA-sponsored Chaplain Fellowship may apply for BCC.  (This is not a 2nd year of a CPE residency.)

  • 5. Yes______/No______:  I have completed at least 5 hours in reading in any of the following: Published research findings, professional chaplain journals, and other Chaplain care articles.

  • 6. Completion of the whole application package.

  • 7. Completion of an interview by a peer review panel to ascertain competency in Pastoral, Personal and Professional areas

    • A.  You must first become a Professional Chaplain Member before your BCC application will be processed. If you are not a member of NAVAC you will need to fill out the Professional Chaplain Member application and remit with appropriate fees.

    • B.  The application for Board Certification is sent to the Chairman of the Board of Directors along with a $100.00 one-time, non-refundable application fee.

    • C.  Once your application is complete send it to Chairman of the Certification Committee. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that your application is complete. Please do not send in bits and pieces of the application. Send the entire application as one package.

    • D.  A convener is selected, who then selects three Board Certified Chaplains and up to three persons from other disciplines to serve in the interview process, known as the “peer review”.

        • i. Dues paying chaplains from APC, NCVACC, NACC, VA Black Chaplains, VA Jewish Chaplains, and CPE Supervisors may be invited to assist in panels.

        • ii.  Only the NAVAC BCC members of such panels are voting members of the panel.

    • E.  If the interview process is positive, the convener will notify the Chairman of Certification. The Chairman then notifies the Board of Directors whom vote on the recommendation. Only the Board of Directors can approve a recommendation for Board Certified Chaplain.

    • F.  If the interview is negative, the Interview Panel notifies the Chairman of the Certification Committee that certification is not recommended or that they recommend deferral. If a deferral is recommended they may require the candidate to complete additional work before making a positive recommendation. If their recommendation is to not confer BCC  status, the candidate will be given time to appeal that decision.

    • G.  You MAY send in your Professional Clinical Member Application at the same time as your BCC application.


We offer reciprocity and equivalent certifications. Fill out only the contact information, educational information and endorsement information. Send that along with the $100 fee and documentation showing that you are currently BCC with that organization. As always you must also be a Professional Clinical Member of NAVAC.

We also offer equivalency for ACPE Educators. If you are a full ACPE Educator fill out the contact information, educational information and endorsement information. Send that along with proof that you are currently an ACPE Educator, a copy of Ecclesiastical Endorsement, and the $100 application fee. As always you must also be a Professional Clinical Member of NAVAC.



CheckList for NAVAC BCC

This is the first page of your BCC Application.

Please do not submit any original documents.  Send Only Singled-Sided, 8 ½ x 11 size paper.

Please do not staple or place in a binder. 




Faith Group:

Home Mailing Address:

Work phone:

Home Phone:

Cell Phone:


E-mail address:

NAVAC Member:  Yes,  No   If you are not a member of NAVAC you will need to fill out the Professional Clinical Member application and include $30.00 application fee.





College Name:

Degree: Date:

Seminary Name:

Degree: Date:


Endorsing Agency:

Name of Endorser:

Date of Endorsement:

Include a copy of your endorsement

4. PROVIDE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF YOUR FAITH JOURNEY. (Not to exceed two typewritten pages. Please use a common business / professional 12 point font such as Courier, Arial or Times New Roman)

5. INCLUDE A CURRENT RESUME. (not to exceed five typewritten pages)


All competencies must be demonstrated individually in four essays each covering a competency section (ITP, PIC, PPS, OL).  All competencies except PIC8 and PIC9, must be addressed in one of the four competency essays.  Page length for each essay must be no less than four (4) and no more than six (6) pages in length. Each essay must be double-spaced, twelve-point (12-point) font, and one-inch (1-inch) margins.  Essays are to be written at a graduate level.  It is recommended that the applicant is explicit about which competency they are addressing throughout the essays.

Competencies for NAVAC BCC Chaplains

As per our signed reciprocity agreement between APC and NAVAC, the candidate for NAVAC BCC certification will demonstrate the ability to:

Section I: Integration of Theory and Practice Competencies

ITP1       Articulate an approach to spiritual care, rooted in one’s faith/spiritual tradition that is integrated with a theory of                professional practice.

ITP2      Incorporate a working knowledge of psychological and sociological disciplines and religious beliefs and                            practices in the provision of spiritual care.

ITP3      Incorporate the spiritual and emotional dimensions of human development into one’s practice of care.

ITP4      Incorporate a working knowledge of different ethical theories appropriate to one’s professional context.

ITP5      Articulate a conceptual understanding of group dynamics and organizational behavior.

ITP6      Articulate how primary research and research literature inform the profession of chaplaincy and one’s spiritual                  care practice.


Section II: Professional Identity and Conduct Competencies

PIC1      Be self-reflective, including identifying one’s professional strengths and limitations in the provision of care.

PIC2     Articulate ways in which one’s feelings, attitudes, values, and assumptions affect professional practice.

PIC3     Attend to one’s own physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

PIC4     Function in a manner that respects the physical, emotional, cultural, and spiritual boundaries of others.

PIC5     Use one’s professional authority as a spiritual care provider appropriately.

PIC6     Advocate for the persons in one’s care.

PIC7     Function within the Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Clinical Pastoral Educators, and               Students.

PIC8     Communicate effectively orally and in writing.

PIC9     Present oneself in a manner that reflects professional behavior, including appropriate attire, and grooming.


Section III: Professional Practice Skills Competencies

PPS1      Establish, deepen and conclude professional spiritual care relationships with sensitivity, openness, and respect.

PPS2     Provide effective spiritual support that contributes to well-being of the care recipients, their families, and staff.

PPS3     Provide spiritual care that respects diversity and differences including, but not limited to culture, gender,                            sexual  orientation and spiritual/religious practices.

PPS4     Triage and manage crises in the practice of spiritual care.

PPS5     Provide spiritual care to persons experiencing loss and grief.

PPS6     Provide religious/spiritual resources appropriate to the care recipients, families, and staff.

PPS7     Develop, coordinate, and facilitate public worship/spiritual practices appropriate to diverse settings and needs.

PPS8     Facilitate theological/spiritual reflection for those in one’s care practice.

PPS9     Facilitate group processes, such as family meetings, post trauma, staff debriefing, and support groups.

PPS10   Formulate and utilize spiritual assessments, interventions, outcomes, and care plans in order to contribute                          effectively to the well-being of the person receiving care.

PPS11    Document one’s spiritual care effectively in the appropriate records. Section


Section IV: Organizational Leadership Competencies

OL1        Promote the integration of spiritual care into the life and service of the institution in which one functions.

OL2       Establish and maintain professional and interdisciplinary relationships.

OL3       Understand and function within the institutional culture and systems, including utilizing business principles and                practices appropriate to one’s role in the organization.

OL4       Promote, facilitate, and support ethical decision-making in one’s workplace.

OL5       Foster a collaborative relationship with community clergy and faith group leaders.




9. PROVIDE TWO CURRENT VERBATIMS (an experience within the last three months).


A.  Provide a current letter of ecclesiastical endorsement.

B.  Provide a letter from the Supervisor of Chaplains at the VA where you are employed.

C.  Provide two letters of recommendation from currently active NAVAC Board CertifiedChaplains or chaplains certified from organizations with whom NAVAC has reciprocal certification.
D.  Provide CPE evaluations.

E.  Provide documentation of 4 units of CPE.

F.  Provide two current verbatims (from an experience within the last three months).


Clinical Pastoral Education

Completion of four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) from a training organization accredited by the United States Department of Education.

Time Frame for Certification:

As NAVAC Certification Committee members are generally full-time VA Professional Chaplains, please expect that the certification process may take as long as 30 days for CCC applications and 90 days for BCC applicants once the completed application packets are received.

Send the completed Checklist and application with all attachments to:

NAVAC Certification Committee Chairman
Chaplain David E. Lefavor, D.Min., BCC

3545 Waynesville Jamestown Road

Jamestown, Ohio 45335


Send the $100 application fee to:


P.O. Box 1631

Newport News, VA 23601




Please do not submit any original documents.  Send only Single-Sided, 8 ½ x 11 size paper.

Please do not staple or place in a binder. 

Include $100 BCC Application fee, plus $30 PCM membership if not a current NAVAC member


Please note that:

NAVAC is a private organization that serves the certification needs of VA Chaplains and those interested in VA Chaplaincy. As such, we are not an extension of the VA though we follow many of the guidelines used by the VA. It is our goal to provide you with a collegial process to meet your certification needs. Any disagreements with NAVAC decisions should be handled directly with NAVAC.

If you have other questions, or need clarification please contact Chaplain Lefavor at: