The Value of Chaplaincy Studies

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz (L) congratulates Maj. Gen. Cecil Richardson during his retirement ceremony April 30, 2012.

On April 30, Maj. Gen. Cecil R. Richardson‘s military career drew to a close with a retirement ceremony at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C.

A 1976 graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with a Masters of Divinity in Hebrew Studies,  Richardson served as Chief of Air Force Chaplains at the time of his retirement.  Of his nearly 41 years of distinguished service, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz  stated that he considered him “better than the top one percent” of those that have ever served in the position, one of the best Chief of Chaplains in Air Force history.

TIU is immensely proud of the service of  Maj. Gen. Richardson—as well as the many others like him who humbly and courageously serve as chaplains.

Recognizing the value of chaplaincy and the unique preparation required for it, TEDS has launched an MDiv specialized ministry focus in Chaplaincy Studies. As such, it now offers classes designed to introduce students to chaplaincy vocational options, and then train further those who desire to specialize. Since most chaplaincy programs require a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, students desiring to become chaplains are encouraged to enroll as MDiv students. However, Chaplaincy Studies classes are open to all TEDS degree programs.

Chaplains bring the presence of Christ to persons and situations that are often inaccessible to traditional pastors, missionaries and parachurch workers. Chaplaincy ministry is incarnational by nature, and a chaplain’s parish ranges from battlefields to airfields, hospital rooms to break rooms, prison chapels to ships at sea. Though chaplains are often associated with military forces or hospitals, chaplains may also serve in a number of different situations including disaster relief (as first responders), corporate settings, fire departments, police departments, airports, race tracks, sports teams, nursing homes, hospices, and correctional facilities. Additionally, though many chaplains serve in a full-time capacity, a number of pastors have enhanced their community outreach by serving as reserve chaplains or as volunteers with their local police or fire departments. The opportunities for chaplaincy ministry are indeed plentiful.

To learn more about the Introduction to Chaplaincy Ministries course (listed as PT 6300) or about the Chaplaincy Studies MDiv focus and its various options, please email the Coordinator of Chaplaincy Studies, Dr. Ken Botton.

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