Supervisory Chaplain

Hampton, Virginia
Jan 19, 2021
Jan 26, 2021
Full Time


The Supervisory (Chief) Chaplain professional performing supervisory and senior clinical assignments for the VHA. Provides comprehensive religious, spiritual, and pastoral care to all persons that are commensurate with the needs, desires, and voluntary consent of the Veteran, caregiver, or staff. Addresses the spiritual component of health and wellness in every patient care setting to ensure that pastoral care is fully integrated into all aspects of chaplain services.

Learn more about this agency


Duties and responsibilities for the position include but are not limited to the following:
  • Serves as the Supervisory Chaplain professional providing comprehensive, religious ministry services to Veteran patients according to their specific needs and desires. Provides thorough guidance and advice to Chaplain Service management staff, other Chaplains, and other stakeholders.
  • Provides supervision for the chaplaincy program of a major faith ministry which is highly integrated into VHA's Chaplain program. Manages and supervises the full spectrum of chaplaincy service operations. Supervises non-supervisory and supervisory professional staff at the GS-12 level or below.
  • Manages a moderately complex to very complex chaplain service program with identified specialty chaplains working in (Hospice and Palliative Care, Suicide Prevention, Mental Health Residential and Outpatient programs, Substance Use Disorder Clinics, Cancer Treatment Clinics, Women's Health Clinics, Spinal Cord Injury Clinics, etc.
  • Engages with other program heads and the VHA facility's administrator in decision-making conferences concerning policies, practices, and regulations affecting the care and treatment program of the facility.
  • Develops one or more subprograms (training, research, community relationships, or religious education if in relationship to the intensive overall treatment program), to advance the religious program and the mission of the medical facility.
  • Works in difficult environmental settings that require considerably more than a working knowledge of the behavioral sciences; and understands and effectively addresses highly sensitive issues.
  • Provides supervision with full responsibility for assignment of work, performance evaluations, selection of staff, recommendation of awards, advancements, and disciplinary actions.
  • Plans work to be accomplished by subordinates, establishes and adjusts short-term priorities, and prepares schedules for completion of work. Assigns work to subordinates based on priorities, selective consideration of the difficulty and requirements of assignments, and the capabilities of employees.
  • Supervises all administrative functions of the department, such as clinical practice, program management, education, human resource management, budget management, development of policy, and clinical practice standards.
  • Ensures compliance with chaplaincy practice, policy, and accreditation standards across the continuum of health care.
  • Maintains chapel space and oversees the distribution of space, inventory, and resources needed for providing spiritual care, education, and programming. Assesses the spiritual and religious needs of the organization.
  • Ensures the religious needs of patients are met through partnerships with community religious leaders and organizations, and community, state, and federal agencies. Builds strong interpersonal relationships with patients and ensures all patients are provided opportunities for the free exercise of religion and protects against proselytizing.
  • Serves as a primary Chaplain resource, spiritual advisor, and liaison for the spiritual needs of patients, caregivers, and staff. Conducts comprehensive religious services and worship, pastoral ministry, and administration of Chaplain services.
  • Reports directly to a member of the ELT - Director, Chief of Staff, Associate Director, Associate Director of Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive, or Assistant Director.

Work Schedule: Monday - Friday 07:30am to 04:00pm
Telework: Ad/Hoc
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Designated and/or random drug testing may be required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process


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 below) is acceptable.
  • Foreign Education. Theological or related education completed outside the U.S. must be submitted to a current affiliate agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) listed at .
  • 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 ®.
  • Loss of Endorsement or Certification. Chaplains must maintain ecclesiastical endorsement and board certification. Loss of endorsement or board certification will result in removal from the GS-0060 Chaplain occupation and may result in termination of employment. Grandfathering Provision. All chaplains employed in VHA, in this occupational series, performing the duties as described in the qualification standard on the effective date of this qualification standard, are considered to have met all the qualification requirements for the grade held, including positive education and certification that are part of the basic requirements of the occupation. For employees who do not meet all the basic requirements of this standard, but met the qualifications applicable to the position at the time they were appointed to the position, the following provisions apply:
        • Chaplains who do not meet the basic requirements for education and certification may be reassigned, promoted up to and including the full performance level, or demoted within the occupation, but may not be promoted beyond the full performance level or placed in supervisory or managerial positions.
        • Chaplains appointed on a temporary basis prior to the effective date of the qualification standard may not have their temporary appointment extended, or be reappointed on a temporary or permanent basis, until they fully meet the basic requirements of the standard.
        • Chaplains initially grandfathered into this occupation, who subsequently obtain education and/or certification that meets all the basic requirements of this qualification standard, must maintain the required credentials as a condition of employment in the occupation.
        • Chaplains who were retained in this occupation, under this provision, and subsequently leave the occupation, lose protected status and must meet the full VA qualification standard requirements in effect at the time of reentry to the occupation.

    English Language Proficiency: Licensed practical or vocational nurses appointed to direct patient care positions must be proficient in both spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402(d), and 7407(d).

    May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision (see paragraph h above) as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria).

    Grade Determinations: In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

    Supervisory Chaplain, GS-13
      Experience: At this level, the candidate must possess one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level that is directly related to the position to be filled.
    • Assignment: For all assignments above the journey level, the higher-level duties must consist of significant scope, complexity (difficulty), range of variety and be performed by the performed by the incumbent at least 25% of the time.
    • Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: In addition to the experience or education above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:
    • Knowledge of administrative, personnel, and resource management and strategic planning for chaplaincy and chaplain pastoral education programs.
    • Ability to provide the full range of supervisory duties, which include responsibility for assignment of work, performance evaluations, selection of staff and recommendation of awards, advancements and disciplinary actions.
    • Skill in interpersonal relationships, including conflict resolution and ability to work collaboratively with managers from other departments.
    • Ability to develop local policy, productivity and clinical practice standards.
    • Ability to align chaplaincy services and programming with the strategic goals and objectives of the facility, Veterans Integrated Service Network and VHA.
    • Ability to ensure compliance with chaplaincy practice, policy and accreditation standards across the continuum of health care.
    • Skill in providing consultation to facility leadership, managers and other staff on all religious expression and spiritual care.
  • References: VA Handbook 5005/135, Part II, Appendix G-67, Chaplain Qualification Standard dated September 24, 2020.

    The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-13.

    Physical Requirements: This position requires meaningfully engagement with Veteran patients and family members by walking and moving within the healthcare setting or with the incumbent using an assistive device. Required to speak, hear (hearing aid permitted) and work closely with others. Use of fingers; Both hands required; Walking; Standing; Both legs required; Specific visual requirements (See computer screen); Both eyes required; Hearing (aid permitted).

  • Education

    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

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

    It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

    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.

    Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

    If you are unable to apply online view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application .

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, résumé, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

    Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

    Trust determination process

    Required Documents

    To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

    • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) & Board Certification from Board of Chaplain Certification (BCCI)
    • Ecclesiastical Endorsement
    • Resume
    • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
    • Transcript

    VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at: . ***REQUIRED***

    The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

    • Cover Letter
    • VA-10-2850c
    • Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) & Board Certification from Board of Chaplain Certification (BCCI)
    • Ecclesiastical Endorsement
    • Resume
    • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
    • Transcript

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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