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Chaplain (Clinical Pastoral Educator)

Baltimore, Maryland
Closing date
Oct 3, 2023

Duties include, but are not limited to:
  • Serves as a certified Chaplain (CPE) providing comprehensive, religious ministry services and training to Veteran patients and students according to their specific needs.
  • Carries out an education ministry with the CPE Center, which is highly integrated into VHA's Chaplain program. Provides thorough guidance and advice to Chaplain Service management staff, students, other Chaplains, and stakeholders.
  • Manages the daily operations of the CPE Center and develops and implements program policies and procedures. Serves as a certified educator of record for all CPE students for an assigned designated area. Provides administrative oversight and programmatic resources and monitors educational outcomes.
  • Offers students an opportunity to develop and expand professional caring skills in a clinical setting to address a person's spiritual, emotional, and physical needs; and offers students experience with hands-on spiritual care for hospitalized patients.
  • Maintains records for all educator evaluations, student records, center portfolio, and CPE accreditation requirements, which may include off-site CPE satellite and placement contracts.
  • Seeks approval for allied health trainee positions through the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA). Conducts recruitment and interviews and selects students for the CPE program.
  • Ensures all documentation is completed for compliance. Develops educational curricula that are measurable, outcome-oriented, and evidence-based and designed to meet board certification competencies.
  • Develops relationships with key staff related to the CPE program, e.g., clinical preceptors, Advisory Group members, and OAA staff.
  • Provides extended and intensive pastoral counseling as an integral part of the treatment program with patients facing complex, ethical, moral, and/or spiritual issues.
  • Monitors the CPE Center's program effectiveness and modification of service pattern, which includes research and leadership of clinical teams. Develops and implements methods to measure the effectiveness of the Chaplain educational program.
  • Uses outcome evaluations to improve educational services and to design education system changes. Seeks best practices, primary research, and research literature that informs the ministry specialty and one's spiritual care practice.
  • Provides leadership, direction, orientation, coaching, in-service training, staff development, and continuing education programs.
  • Serves as a primary senior Chaplain education resource, spiritual advisor, and liaison for the spiritual needs of Veterans patients, students, caregivers, and staff.
  • Conducts comprehensive religious services and worship, pastoral ministry, and administration of Chaplain services. Addresses the religious, spiritual, moral, and ethical problems of patients and staff through educational means.
  • Completes various complex educational projects, task groups, and assignments to obtain pertinent high-level information needed for Chaplain Service senior management officials.
  • Ensures various complex educational training assignments are carried out in a pluralistic environment, which encompasses sensitivity to the religious needs of many separate religious denominations and faith groups.
  • Serves as a Chaplain senior representative and a fully recognized member of an interdisciplinary treatment team (IDT). Advises and collaborates with other senior members of the treatment team to provide comprehensive healthcare services to Veterans.
  • Maintains effective rapport with physicians, medical officers, psychologists, nurses, therapists, social workers, or others involved with the IDT.
  • Educates, trains, and coaches volunteer groups who offer their services and assistance. Provides expert guidance and advice to other VHA Chaplains.
  • Provides guidance and support for patients to express values through processes such as life review, oral history, and end of life preparation and documentation.
  • Provides specialized consultation, teaching, and mentoring to healthcare staff and trainees on advanced spiritual care interventions in the service delivery area.
  • Provides appropriate education and training to other healthcare staff and trainees to screen for spiritual and religious needs and the importance of appropriate referrals to chaplains for complex spiritual distress.
  • Provides guidance and religious instruction to students, individuals, and groups. Conducts and arranges for religious worship services in chapels and at other locations for patients that are unable to attend regular chapel services.
  • Maintains a good understanding of the theories, methodologies, practices, and problems of the other medical professional or student disciplines and the latest developments in their fields. Maintains an up-to-date knowledge and understanding of other religions or denominations.
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4:00pm
Telework: Yes. In accordance with agency policy.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • All applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in a testing designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


Applicants pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met.

Basic Requirements:
  • United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy.
  • Education. Applicants must possess a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent educational qualifications as evidenced by a graduate-level theological degree from a college, university or theological school accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
NOTE: For applicants who do not possess a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent educational degree, an approved educational equivalency review from a nationally recognized board certification body for chaplains (see paragraph f) is acceptable
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Applicants must have completed four units of CPE from a CPE center that is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Ecclesiastical Endorsement. In accordance with 38 C.F.R. 17.655, ecclesiastical endorsement is a condition of employment as a VA chaplain. An individual must possess and maintain a full and active ecclesiastical endorsement to be employed as a VA chaplain. Applicants must have an ecclesiastical endorsement, dated within the past 12 months. Ecclesiastical endorsements must be from the official national endorsing authority of the applicant's/employee's faith group or denomination. Ecclesiastical endorsement is a written official statement, by the official national endorsing body of the faith group or denomination, certifying that the applicant is in good standing with the applicant's faith group or denomination; and stating that the individual is, in the opinion of the endorsing body, qualified to perform the full range of ministry required in the VA pluralistic setting. Loss of endorsement will result in removal from the GS-0060 Chaplain series and may result in termination of employment. The National Chaplain Service maintains a list of approved endorsing organizations that can be found here:
  • Board Certification. Applicants must be a Board Certified Chaplain certified by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI) or nationally recognized certification body that utilizes the BCCI Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplaincy or a certifying organization that has a reciprocity agreement with BCCI .
Grade Determinations:

Chaplain (Clinical Pastoral Educator), GS-12

Experience. At this level, the candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade level that is directly related to the position to be filled.

  • To provide educational supervision for CPE Level 1 and Level 2 students, the Chaplain CPE Educator must be a Certified Educator.
  • To provide educational supervision for students seeking to become Certified Educators, the Chaplain CPE Educator must be a CPE national faculty from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
  • Ability to independently educate all levels of CPE students and plan, organize, and implement all levels of the CPE program.
  • Skill in adhering to all accreditation standards, processes and practices including, but not limited to, timely and professional submission of all required program reports, center portfolio, fees and dues.
  • Skill in written and verbal communication that are articulate, professional and cohesive.
  • Ability to recruit, interview and select students for the CPE program.
  • Knowledge of professional ethics for certified educators and history of CPE.
  • Ability to apply theoretical understanding for and competence in administering and conducting all levels of CPE programs.
  • Knowledge of emerging trends and research in the area of pastoral education.
  • Knowledge of diverse conceptual frameworks for developing educational curriculum.
Preferred Experience:
-3+ years: Expertise and/or experience partnering with the Office of Academic Affiliation (OAA)
-3+ years: Establishing and/or maintaining accreditation of clinical pastoral education centers and programs through Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE)
- 3+ years: Understanding the theories, methodologies, practices, and problems of other medical professional or student disciplines and the latest developments in their fields
- 3+ years: Effective skills supporting the development of staff resiliency and developing programs for VHA student development and wellness by providing sound spiritual and emotional support
Lack of experience in any of these areas will not deem applicants as not qualified/ineligible.

Applicant must have a valid US Drivers License (Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position. Travel may be required between Baltimore, Loch Raven and Perry Point VA Medical Centers, in addition to five Community Based Outpatient Clinics).

References: VA Handbook 5005/135 Part II Appendix G67, September 24, 2020

The full performance level of this vacancy is 12.

Travel Required: 25% or less - You may be expected to travel for this position. Travel may be required between Baltimore, Loch Raven, and Perry Point VA Medical Centers, in addition to five Community Based Outpatient Clinics.

Physical Requirements: This position requires the Chaplain to meaningfully engage with Veteran patients and family members by walking and moving within the healthcare setting or with the incumbent using an assistive device. The Chaplain is required to speak, hear (hearing aid permitted) and work closely with others.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: . If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: .

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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