Institutional Chaplaincy
Orthodox Church in America
Endorsing Community to Gather in Alexandria, VA

Endorsers from a multitude of faith traditions will be gathering early in January, 2019.  For institutional chaplaincy, endorsers will attend meetings of the COMISS Network (Commission on Ministry in Specialized Settings) and AREB (Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies).  Military chaplaincy meetings are also held. 

AREB as an entity is just over ten years old.  This body is made up of endorsers, who work together to advocate for the relationship between communitieis of faith, credentialing bodies, and chaplain employers.  This body will meet from January 11-12, 2019.  They explore best practices for endorsing, and reflect on what is currently unfolding in the chaplaincy community from the endorsing perspective.  As more credentialing bodies are entering the chaplaincy arena, AREB seeks to interact with them to advocate for continued active engagemeent between faith communities and institutions employing chaplains, as well as bodies like the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC), the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE), and the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP) who certify chaplains. 

The COMISS Network represents a nation-wide round table for certifying bodies, endorsers representing faith communities, those who employ chaplains, and others, who come together annually to share developments in the chaplaincy arena.  The COMISS Network meets January 13-14, 2019.  Table discussions offer opportunities for a sharing across disciplines on presentation topics that recently have been focused in the area of pastoral research.  Also individual representatives can share what is happening for their particular organization. 

The Orthodox Church in America has been a member of COMISS since 2005.  When AREB formed in 2006 and 2007, the OCA was part of that formation.  Archpriest Steven Voytovich has served in leadership roles in both bodies.  Archpriest Theodore Boback attends the military chaplain meetings that follow COMISS and AREB and has similarly held leadership roles.  OCA chaplains desiring to serve in military or institutional chaplaincy positions are supported by the work of the Office of Insitutional Chaplaincy and the Office of Military Chaplaincy, and all endorsements are ultimately forwarded through Metropolitan Tikhon's office.

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