top of page

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Counseling

NAVAC Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Specialty Certification (PTSD)

Application and Requirements and Resources




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 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

b. Active participation in a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder IDT for three years.

c. Completion of either 50 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder care spiritual assessments and care plans during the year prior to application for certification or 120 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder spiritual assessment and care plans during the three years prior to certification.

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

a. Being a graduate of the Chaplain Advanced Education (CAVE) Course, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 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 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


a. Made a presentation to staff.

b. Written a paper or article.

c. Complete TMS Course:  PTSD 101: PTSD Overview and Treatment.  (VA 41458)

e. Complete TMS Course:  PTSD and Dementia (VA 30993)



a. Define causes, symptoms, and recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder.

b. Describe a Spirituality Care plan that you devised and how it was successfully implemented for patients and families.

c. Describe a PTSD case in which you helped to bring out unspoken feelings.

d. How have you helped a patient to address unfinished business related to PTSD?

e. What is the chaplain’s role on the interdisciplinary team?

f. In what way have you been an advocate for mental health patient’s rights?

g. What is the role of the chaplain in treating PTSD?

h. How has a culture or ethnic diversity affected how you treat a patient?

i. Do different traumas substances (of abuse) impact the spiritual needs of a patient who has PTSD? If so, how do you think it affects him/her?

j. How do you reconcile it if your values differ with that of the patient?


6. Provide two letters of recommendation from currently active members of the PTSD 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:

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Resources

PTSD: National Center for PTSD website:

Clinical Chaplains working in PTSD should sign up for their monthly newsletter/research digest.    Chaplains can sign up using the link.


Donohue, Maureen and Legg, Timothy. (2019). Why People Experience PTSD.

Germer, Christopher and Dr. Kristin Neff. The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook

Kraft, Charles., Kearney, Ellen and White, Mark H. (1993). Deep Wounds, Deep Healing: Discovering the Vital Link Between Spiritual Warfare and Inner Healing. Ann Arbor: Vine Books.

Lopes, Lisa. Trauma Counseling Springer Publishing Company.

McClintock, Karen A. Trauma-Informed Pastoral Care. How to Respond When Things Fall Apart.

Sandford, John L. and Sandford, Paula. (2007). Transforming the Inner Man: God’s Powerful Principles for Inner Healing and Lasting Change. Lake Mary: Charisma House.

Shapiro, Francine. Getting Past Your Past.

Sippola, John, Amy B. Blumenshine, Donald A. Tubesing, and Valerie Yancey. Welcome Them Home Help Them Heal.

Vander Kolk, Bessel, (2015). The Body Keeps the Score, Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma.

Westfall, John F. Getting Past What You’ll Never Get Over: Help for Dealing with Life’s Hurts.

Wolynn, Mark. It Didn’t Start With You. How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle.

Winfrey, Oprah and Dr. Bruce D. Perry. What Happened to You? Conversations, Resilience, and Healing.

It Didn’t Start With You, by Mark Wolynn

Getting Past Your Past, by Francine Shapiro, PhD

The Mindful Self Compassion Workbook, by Christopher Germer and Dr. Kristin Neff

Deep Wounds, Deep Healing: Discovering the Vital Link Between Spiritual Warfare and Inner Healing. Ann Arbor: Vine Books, by Kraft, Charles., Kearney, Ellen and White, Mark H. (1993).

Trauma-Informed Pastoral Care How to Respond When Things Fall Apart. By McClintock, Karen A.

bottom of page