By Father Michael P. Hanifin
Past Chairman, NCCS Chaplains Committee
In 1995, the Chaplain Committee of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting® developed a process to recognize Chaplain training and competency. Early in the process many of the Catholic Priests who worked as Diocesan and Regional Chaplains were recognized and earned certification.
More recently the process of Basic Chaplain Certification was made a priority for the new Chair and Advisor of the Chaplains Committee and mandated to revitalize the Basic Chaplain Certification process. The Basic Chaplain Certification is good for only five years and certification must be renewed at the end of five years.
Starting immediately, those recognized Troop, Summer Camp, Diocesan and NCCS Regional Chaplains are encouraged to seek Basic Scout Certification through the National Catholic Committee on Scouting®. The process is as follows:
- Applications are online at the National Catholic Committee on Scouting® website. They may also be obtained from Fr. Gerard Gentleman, Chairman of the NCCS Chaplains Committee.
- The candidate for Basic Chaplain Certification must then submit the following to NCCS at the National BSA Office:
- Completed Application along with a recent photograph.
- Letter of Recommendation and/or Appointment from Religious Superior, Eparchy, or Bishop and include candidate’s suitability for Ministry and that the candidate has not had an accusation of clergy misconduct.
- Letters and Documentation may be addressed as follows:
Scout Chaplain Certification
c/o National Catholic Committee on Scouting, BSA
P. O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079
- Proof of BSA Registration and NCCS Membership
- Experience - Three years of experience as a Scout Chaplain.
- Training (at least one of the following requirements needed for Certification:
- Attendance and Participation in at least two NCCS Biennial Conferences
- Attendance at BSA National Camp School - Chaplain Section
- Attendance at Philmont Training Center - "Scouting in the Catholic Church"
- Interview / Review / Approval by Chaplains Committee – Normally at the NCCS Board Meeting or the NCCS Biennial Conference.
- Certification granted normally at the NCCS Biennial Conference or at the NCCS Annual Meeting.
- Certification valid for five years at which reapplication and submission of documentation and training are requested.
- Renewal of certification requires the review and recommendation of the NCCS Chaplains Committee.
Those priests who have served as a course advisor at the PTC "Scouting in the Catholic Church" workshop automatically meet the Training requirement for Basic Chaplain Certification. And any priest who has served as a Chaplain at a National Jamboree or at Philmont Base Camp more than meet the Chaplain Experience requirement for Basic Chaplain Certification. Those priests who have served in one or more of these capacities in the last five years, is considered "up to date".
Continuous registration, service and training with NCCS would be sufficient for automatic re-certification for a Chaplain. Please note these experiences and training on the Basic Certification Application.
Application process information can be obtained from Fr. Gerard Gentleman, Chairman of the NCCS Chaplains Committee at Fr. Gerard Gentleman.