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Substance Use Disorder

NAVAC Specialty Certification in Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

Application and Requirements



Work Location:





VA Email:

Private Email:


Work Phone:




You must be current with NAVAC dues.  (Include email from Certification Chair)

1. Be a NAVAC Board Certified Chaplain.   (Include a copy of BCC)

2. Provide a supporting letter from Chaplain Service Chief to verify all the following:

a. Completion of three years of devoting 20% of one’s time in substance use disorder work.

b. Completion of at least 50 substance use disorder spiritual assessments.

c. Active participation in a substance use disorder treatment team for three years.

d. Conducting not less than one class a month on substance use disorder and spirituality.

3. Completion of one of the following: (Include documentation)

a. Being a graduate of the Chaplain Advanced Education (CAVE) Course, Drug and Alcohol Addiction track.

b. Education equivalence demonstrated by narrative, transcript(s), and/or curricula.


4. Include documentation to show how you completed the following projects related to Substance Use Disorder:

a. Made a presentation to staff.

b. Written a paper or article.

c. Complete TMS Course:  Drug & Alcohol Addiction   (VA 35338)

d. Complete TMS Course:  Aberrant Drug Use Behaviors   (NFED 100110)


5. Upon meeting these criteria, the chaplain will submit a paper answering the following questions based on Substance Use Disorder competencies: (short answers 1-2 pages).

a. Describe an substance use disorder and spirituality assessment/plan you use and how it was implemented.

b. Describe a case in which you helped to assist with unprocessed feelings associated with recovery.

c. How have you helped a Veteran address unresolved issues related to recovery?

d. What is the chaplain's role on the (ID'I') Recovery Treatment team?

e. In what ways are you an advocate of Veterans' rights?

f. What is the chaplain's role in treating addiction'?

g. How have culture/ethnic diversity issues impacted how you serve Veterans in recovery?

h. How does substance use disorder affect the spirituality of Veterans in treatment?

i. How do you reconcile your values when they differ from those of Veterans in treatment?


6. Provide two letters of recommendation from currently active members of the interdisciplinary Treatment Team stating that you have been an active member of the treatment team for three years.

Time Frame for Certification:

As NAVAC Certification Committee members are full-time VA Professional Chaplains, please expect that the certification process may take as long as 60 days once the completed application packets are received.


Send the completed application with all attachments fee to:

NAVAC Certification Committee Chairman

 Chaplain David E. Lefavor, D.Min., BCC


Send the $100.00 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.



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:


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