Chaplain - Clinical Pastoral Educator

Perry Point, Maryland
Jul 28, 2021
Jul 30, 2021
Full Time


The Chaplain, Clinical Pastoral Educator (CPE) performs senior-level clinical assignments for the Veterans Health Administration (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. While addressing the spiritual component of health and wellness in every patient care setting to ensure that pastoral care is fully integrated into all aspects of the service.
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Duties include but are not limited to:
  • Carries out an education ministry within the CPE Center, which is highly integrated into VHA's Chaplain program.
  • Manages the daily operations of the CPE Center and develops and implements program policies and procedures.
  • Offers students an opportunity to develop and expand professional caregiving 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 portfolios, 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).
  • Ensures all documentation is completed for compliance.
  • Develops educational curricula that are measurable, outcome-oriented, evidence-based, and designed to meet board certification competencies.
  • Uses outcome evaluations to improve educational services and to design education system changes.
  • Provides leadership, direction, orientation, coaching, in-service training, staff development, and continuing education programs.
  • 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.
  • Possesses and maintains current and new knowledge of pastoral education, emerging trends, research, and professional ethics for certified educators and history of CPE.
  • Educates all levels of CPE students independently.
  • All other tasks as assigned.
Work Schedule: Monday through Friday -- 7:30am - 4:00pm
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position. Occasional day trips to and from our three different Medical Centers and/or our six community based clinics.

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


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:
  • Citizenship. Citizen of the United States (U.S.). Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with 38 U.S.C. § 7407(a).
  • 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. Have you completed a Master of Divinity from an institution accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, or do you possess a letter of equivalency based equivalent education? If you are using equivalency to meet the education requirement, a letter of equivalency for education from the National VA Chaplain Center must be uploaded with your application materials. To request a Letter of Equivalency for Education, email .
  • 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 is acceptable.
  • Foreign Education. To be creditable, 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.
  • Certified Educator. Applicants must be a CPE Certified Educator from 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.
  • Physical Requirements. speaking, hearing (hearing aid permitted) and working closely with others - Pre-employment physical is required
  • English Language Proficiency. Chaplains must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f).
Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the journey level (GS-11) that is directly related to this position. Experience includes:
  • Knowledge of advance care planning to educate, inform, and counsel patients and families.
  • Skill in guiding patients in verbalizing and expressing values through life review, oral history, and end of life preparation and documentation.
  • Ability to develop pastoral care programs that are measurable, outcome-driven and evidenced based within the department guidelines.
  • Skill in counseling on medical and ethical issues, terminal diagnoses or crises, moral injury, problems of conscience, family or marital difficulties and justice or confinement matters.
  • Ability to support the development of staff resiliency and develop programs for staff development and wellness by providing spiritual and emotional support.
  • Ability to educate and equip healthcare staff and trainees screening for spiritual and religious needs of patients and the importance of appropriate referrals to chaplains for complex spiritual distress.
  • Knowledge of community needs to coordinate with community organizations to provide comprehensive spiritual care, utilizing outside community resources to meet the religious needs of patients that cannot be met by chaplain staff.
Grade Determinations: GS12 - Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to the experience above, you must demonstrate the following:
  • Ability to apply relevant theories and methodologies to their ministry specialty.
  • Ability to integrate specialized psychological and sociological theory with an advanced approach to spiritual care.
  • Skill to seek out primary research and research literature that informs the ministry specialty and one's spiritual care practice.
  • Skill in developing and implementing methods for measuring effectiveness of chaplain practice and services in the specialty area, utilizing outcome evaluations to improve treatment services and to design system changes.
  • Ability to mediate conflict, hold various emotions and diffuse moral distress among staff and complex crisis situations.
  • Ability to provide specialized consultation, teaching and mentoring to colleagues and students on advanced spiritual care interventions in the service delivery area.
  • Ability to apply advanced clinical knowledge to write policies, procedures and/or practice guidelines pertaining to the service delivery area.
References: VA Handbook 5005; Appendix G67. Chaplain Qualification Standard

The full performance level of this vacancy is GS12. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is GS12.

Physical Requirements: speaking, hearing (hearing aid permitted), and working 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. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. 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.

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

Required Documents

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

  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Ecclesiastical Endorsement
  • VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at:
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Transcript

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

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.

  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Ecclesiastical Endorsement
  • VA Form 10-2850c Application for Associated Health Occupations can be found at:
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit Feds Hire Vets - Veterans - Job Seekers - Veterans' Preference .

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.