Chaplains are committed to carrying God’s love into hospitals, hospices, prisons, universities, homeless shelters, airports, and other areas of life, working with others for the well-being of those who are part of these institutions.

Chaplains love and care for people with humility and compassion, in the good times and the bad, telling the story of God’s love, and helping people make connections between life and faith. They often mentor those in need and can bring comfort during a crisis.

How do I become a chaplain?

Do you believe God is calling you to serve as chaplain? Some chaplains are ordained but not all. Ordained chaplains would normally serve a curacy first in a parish setting (for up to 3 years) before applying for chaplaincy posts as they are advertised by schools, universities, prisons or NHS trusts, etc.

Chaplaincy in the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy have their own selection processes, given that you will be required to have a certain level of physical fitness and capacity to be of support to men and women on the front line. It’s possible to be a Reservist Chaplain (some parish clergy undertake such a role, for instance).
Your starting point is to meet with your own vicar, chaplain, or equivalent, to talk with them about your sense of calling.


  • Miranda Threlfall-Holmes and Mark Newitt, Being a Chaplain (SPCK, 2011)
  • Andrew Todd and James Walters, A Christian Theology of Chaplaincy (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017)