PODCAST: Keeping the Chaplain Accountable, Part 1 (Work of the Chaplain #73 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 73. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 which says, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Price Pritchett. He said, “You can’t put someone else in charge of your morals. Ethics is a personal discipline.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: PART THREE: The Person of the Chaplain;
Chapter 10 – Keeping the Chaplain Accountable (Part 1)

Chaplains minister in the context of complicated issues and potentially compromising situations. Based on institutional expectations, individual faith and beliefs, professional standards, legal statutes, and personal ethics, chaplains maintain accountability to others and to themselves. Chaplain vulnerability is minimized when proactive steps are taken to protect chaplains, their clients, and the institutions they represent.

— Institutional Accountability

When a person accepts an institutional position as a chaplain, he or she is making an explicit commitment to abide by the policies and procedures of that institution. In fact, some institutions such as the military and law enforcement require an oath of office. The rules and expectations are quite clear, and there are few ambiguities. Challenging or disregarding those expectations could result in termination, fines, or criminal charges.

Leadership and administrative policies may create accountability through processes that provide supervision to help the chaplain stay on track. Regular meetings, reviews, and evaluations are routine practices for maintaining accountability, even though filing reports and meeting deadlines may be the most painful accountability structure that chaplains endure. Another approach to institutional accountability is multidisciplinary peer review. Chaplains dialogue with their peers within the institution to process difficult situations, evaluate interventions, and assess effectiveness. In some cases, peer reviews are used to discipline chaplains for unethical or questionable practices, or for incompetence. For example, a chaplain who seeks board certification may appear before a peer review board. A peer review board that finds a chaplain unsuitable or lacking in essential skills may cause the certification process to be delayed or terminated. In most cases, the peer review board would establish a process by which the applying chaplain would be mentored or have opportunity to address appropriately the issues that were raised.

When implicit expectations such as a proscription against cohabitation, the use of obscene language, or excessive alcohol consumption are challenged, the chaplain is accountable first to God and then to his or her own conscience. Few institutions can dictate morality, but many will implement sanctions against breaches in institutional, industrial, or professional ethics. Where there is doubt, the chaplain would do well to utilize good chaplain skills such as clarification and self-examination.

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— PRAYER —

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Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.