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NAVAC Women Veterans' Health Specialty Competency Certification (WVH)


NAVAC Women Veterans’ Health Specialty Certification (WVH)

Application and Requirements

Women Veterans' Health Specialty Competency Certification Competencies




VA Medical Center:


VA Email:

Private Email:

Work Phone:

Cell Phone:



You must be a NAVAC Board Certified Chaplain for at least one year before applying and be current with NAVAC dues.  Clinician is not required to be female to apply.  Include an email from the Certification Chair showing the paid-up status and a copy of BCC.

1. Provide a letter from the Chaplain Service Chief (or Supervising Executive, on sites where there is no Chief Chaplain position) recommending the award of specialty certification in Women Veterans' Health and verifying the following:

a. Completion of two years of chaplain service, with significant time working in the field of spiritual care/spirituality for Women Veterans (including providing education, one-on-one counseling, and/or in group settings).

b. The applicant provided training to students/trainees, staff, community mental health, and/or religious leaders on the issues of Women Veterans' Health on at least three occasions.  Specify the setting, date, and time, verified by Service Chief.         

c. The applicant identified spiritual issue(s) in the context of Women Veterans' Health, with follow-up pastoral interventions in the patient’s Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) verified by Service Chief.

2. Provide a letter from Women Veterans' Health Program Coordinator/Manager verifying participation on the Women   

         Veterans' Health Committee (or similar committee) for at least two years.


3. Supporting Documentation:

a. Recommendation letter from a “sponsor” (can be a mental health provider or health care provider or social worker or chaplain; should verify that clinical experience requirements have been met, with attached competency checklist below).

b. Short description of the applicant’s current practice of chaplaincy in Women Veterans' Health.  Two pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman.

c. Verification letter, signed by applicant’s supervisor, of at least 30 spiritual assessments completed with women veterans.

d. Evidence (copies) of three (bi-directional exchange) referrals within the interdisciplinary team, as indicated by the patient’s needs (documents must be de-identified).  

e. Evidence (copies) of ten progress notes demonstrating critical thinking/analysis as subject matter expert to the interdisciplinary team on spiritual issues, including how these issues may impact women veterans (documents must be de-identified).

f. Checklist with 16 colleague-observed competencies, completed and signed by the sponsor based on daily interactions with the applicant.


4. Select a minimum of 2 areas of concentration from each category of study, specifically focused on Women Veterans' Health from the list below (of which the applicant has completed a clinical study and critical analysis). Provide a list of resources (minimum of 7) that informed your understanding of the chosen areas of concentration (may include books, articles, lectures, training, Podcasts, etc.).


Category A – Psychosocial Issues:

a. Military Sexual Trauma, Sexual Assault, Harassment, or Stalking

b. Domestic Violence and/or Intimate Partner Violence

c. Homelessness

d. What Women Can Teach About Empathy

e. How Women Understand and Integrate Spirituality Into Their Life (Different Cultural Experiences and/or Different Generational Experiences.)

f. Women Coping with Power-over/Power-under Environments

g. Women and Anger

h. Mental Health

i. Sex/human trafficking


Category B- Health Issues:

a. Hepatitis C

b. Eating Disorders

c. Women and Health (Heart Health, Diabetes, Hospice/Palliative Care, Cancer; choose one type)

d. Women, and Addiction and Recovery

​​​f.  Women & Pain Management

g. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MDS)

h. Pre- and post-menopausal issues

i. Fertility

j. Neonatal and Prenatal loss


Category C – Relationship Issues:

a. Lesbian Relationships

b. Multicultural Families

c. Multi-generational Challenges (Women as Caregivers/Providers for Self, Family, Parents, or Extended family)

d. Current Challenges to Women’s Self-esteem

e. Women & Power (Empowerment/Disempowerment in the Military, Workplace, School, Religious experiences, Family, or Cultural Context)

Category D – Spiritual Issues:

a. Alienation

b. Moral Injury

c. Forgiveness

d. Reconciliation

e. Spiritual practices

f. Soul restoration/inner peace

g. Spiritual woundedness

h. Connection (with self, others, nature, sacred/divine, faith community)

i. Awe and wonder

j. Rituals



5. Select one Women Veterans Health issue (psychosocial, health, relationships, and spirituality) from the list above.  Produce an original paper (15 to 20 pages double spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman) detailing the following:

a. Define the selected Women Veterans' Health issue. 

b. Detail your reasoning for its selection.  Discuss how the issue is different for women veterans (versus for male veterans).  Discuss and compare the contemporary relevance of the issue.

c. Detail your working theology surrounding the selected Women Veterans Health issue and current clinical approaches to its treatment.  How did you address the issue with women veterans?

d. How has communication with other clinical providers and chaplains informed your understanding of this Women Veterans Health issue and your pastoral approach?  Note similarities and differences in approach and provision of care among clinical providers and chaplains.

e. Describe a spiritual care plan you developed and implemented for patients and/or families. What spiritual issues were identified? What spiritual interventions were employed? What spiritual resources were used, if any?  Why were these spiritual resources selected?  How were these spiritual resources helpful?  What were the clinical outcomes?  Discuss whether it was appropriate and was it successful.  Why or why not?

f. Detail at least three (de-identified) case studies highlighting particular Women Veterans issues and how you helped each veteran address that issue.  Ensure you select three Veterans representing diversity in combat era, age, culture, and ethnicity. (Maximum three pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman)

g. Provide a minimum of three specific examples of how you worked collegially within an interdisciplinary team setting in addressing Women Veterans' Health issues - detail your collaboration and the outcome of this exchange.  (Maximum three pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman)


6. Describe a detailed consultation with a Subject Matter Expert (SME), across disciplines, with at least 10 years of clinical experience in Women Veterans Health, to gain a fuller appreciation for scholarship and longevity in the field.  According to the SME, how has Women Veterans' Health changed and evolved over time?  What insights did you gain from the consultation?   (Produce a 5–7-page, double-spaced essay of this conversation (verbatim format), 12-point font, Times New Roman.)


7. Completion of one of the following:

a. Review of at least three VA Reports and Research Resources/Special Volumes/ Resources from the VA Center for Women Veterans (CWV), with a one-page critique of each selected item.    Please check with Certification Chair in advance to ensure this will satisfy requirements.


b. Complete four TMS training (on your chosen area of concentration) and submit certificates of completion.  Please check with Certification Chair in advance to ensure this will satisfy requirements.




8. Facilitate at least three Women Veteran Health Treatment Groups. Focus on a specific area of concentration and document participation and results.  Write an 8–10-page reflection paper describing each group’s process, your leadership, collaboration with other clinical providers/mental health professionals, use of materials, curriculum developed, learning that has sharpened your skills as a provider, and outcomes for participants.



9. Submit a professionally composed PowerPoint presentation you prepared and presented on a Women Veterans' Health issue of your choice.  The audience may be a group of chaplains/clergy, other clinical staff/mental health providers, and/or patients.


CURRENT RESUME (2 to 4 pages)


Email Application:     Send the completed application as a PDF to:


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




Send the $100 application fee to:


P.O. Box 1631

Newport News, VA 23601


Please be advised:

NAVAC is a private organization that serves the certification needs of VA Chaplains and those interested in VA Chaplaincy. As NAVAC Certification Committee members are full-time VA Professional Chaplains, please expect that the certification process may take as long as 90 days once the completed application packets are received. 


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

Application and Requirements for Women Veterans' Specialty Competency Certification

Women Veterans' Health Specialty Competency Certification Competencies


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