Buddhist Chaplaincy Training FAQ

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What is the participant commitment?

Participants commit to attending Friday classes, completing 100 hours of volunteer chaplaincy, attending monthly support groups, completing 150-300 pages of reading each month, writing reflection papers each month, and consulting with faculty over the course of the training.  Please note that attendance at 10 of the 11 Friday classes is required, and the first class is mandatory.  For a complete description of the program components, click here.

Where do I do my volunteer chaplaincy?

Participants may serve at hospitals, hospices, correctional facilities, etc. and are responsible for obtaining a position as such.  A  list of possibilities based on previous student experiences is here, but we do not place participants at certain locations, per se.  That is the responsibility of the participants.

If I miss a class, how can I catch up?

Audio recordings are made of the lectures and presentations, which comprise at least 3-4 hours of each class.  The remaining class hours are small group discussions and personal reflection exercises, which are not recorded.  These audio recordings are available for download afterwards for those who miss a class, or wish to listen again. NOTE: the in-person and online classes are not interchangeable. In-person participants cannot make up missed classes by attending an online class, and vice versa. Each class will have its own set of recordings for catch up.

Do I need to have previous chaplaincy experience?

No.  This is an introductory training program.  Each of us has the capacity to embrace the suffering of another person and the ability to provide compassionate care to another.

Will this training qualify me for a full-time job as a chaplain?

No.  Professional chaplains are trained and credentialed by several organizations, and most employers require this credential.  This training, however, can serve as preparation and discernment for people considering a career in professional chaplaincy.

Will this training qualify me for ordination as a Buddhist minister or chaplain?

No.  Clergy are ordained by faith-based organizations/congregations, not educational institutions such as the Sati Center.  This training, however, can serve as preparation and discernment.  Some faith-based organizations require this training as a pre-requisite for ordination.  We recommend inquiring with the leadership of one’s faith community prior to application.

What if I am not a Buddhist?

In addition to practitioners from all streams of Buddhism, the Sati Center considers applications from individuals of various faiths who have a regular meditation practice and who share our commitment of bringing together spiritual insight and social action.  For seminary students, this course is appropriate for third year students who are called to ministries of pastoral care and chaplaincy.

What exactly is a chaplain?  How can I learn more about chaplaincy in general?

Read this article: Chaplaincy-A Brief Intro

Video about chaplaincy: Is God Calling You?

How can I learn more about Buddhist Chaplaincy?

The first book about Buddhist chaplaincy was published in 2012.  More info is here.  There is a resource website as well: www.Buddhistchaplains.org

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