What is a School Chaplain?

Adapted from FAQs:

What does a School Chaplain do?

The primary role of a school chaplain is similar to that of a youth pastor, the difference being that one works in a school and the other in a church. School chaplains mentor children and teenagers in the ways of the Lord, educate them about the life of Christ, the Word of God, the blessings of obedience, and the consequences of sin. Chaplains pray with and counsel students, school faculty, and parents. They begin school meetings with prayer and scripture, and lead special school assemblies that resemble church services. They encourage worship and provide students with Bible study lessons. 

School chaplains have a dramatic impact on school culture. The witness of the Lord Jesus turns a campus into a local Body of Christ (Ekklesia). One of the program’s goals is for the students to discuss the things of God among themselves, to cultivate a true interest in all things Jesus. A decrease in substance abuse, teen pregnancies, gang participation and dropouts are the result. Students graduate with a sense of purpose and destiny defined by the Word of God, and parents are thrilled. 

Who qualifies to be a School Chaplain?

There are slight variations between countries, but most public schools have a similar set of requirements to work with children. Applicants must provide a police record certifying that they have never committed a felony or a misdemeanor involving a minor. The police record also certifies that they are not listed as a sexual predator. They must have a written endorsement from their church’s board or pastor. The final decision for approving an applicant rests with the principal of the school in which the chaplain will be working. Moreover, a chaplain’s permission to work in a school is not indefinite. Permission can be withdrawn at any time. The ministry maintains a database of chaplains, allowing anyone to confirm that an individual is indeed a chaplain in good standing with Mission Generation. 

Program Administration

How does Mission Generation adequeately administer a program with so many people in so many countries? Mission Generation’s governance model for the Program is flat, meaning there is no hierarchy of command. It is a decentralized system very similar to the early church. It is organic in nature and, to a large degree, self-governing, spreading peer-to-peer. Remember Uber?  

The School Chaplain Program is a classic grassroots movement. In a spiritual sense, we are a voice crying in the wilderness, making a way for the Lord (John 1:23); a voice that is motivating thousands of people to serve the Lord inside national school systems.  

A significant contribution to the success of our governance model is the fact that all ministry takes place in schools, during regular school hours. Chaplains are highly supervised because of the strict policies governing access and conduct with minors. Chaplains report directly to the school principal. The chaplain program reinforces best practices established by school boards.  

Once a person is approved to serve as a chaplain by a school board or principal, we entrust their supervision to the school administrators. To support the school and the chaplains, the ministry provides online support that is intuitive and user-friendly. Our webinars are well attended and also recorded, allowing participants to view them at their discretion. In addition, high-quality, real-time, in-person support is available 10 hours a day, covering school hours in all the time zones we serve. Thanks to the wonders of technology, chaplains can reach our call center from anywhere in the world at no cost to them.  

Who supervises the Chaplains?

School Chaplains are supervised by school principals. They are held accountable by school faculty, school boards and parents. 

Dealing with crime and vice

The primary role of a school chaplain is similar to that of a youth pastor, the difference being that one works in a school and the other in a church. School chaplains mentor children and teenagers in the ways of the Lord, educate them about the life of Christ, the Word of God, the blessings of obedience, and the consequences of sin. Chaplains pray with and counsel students, school faculty, and parents. They begin school meetings with prayer and scripture, and lead special school assemblies that resemble church services. They encourage worship and provide students with Bible study lessons. 

School chaplains have a dramatic impact on school culture. The witness of the Lord Jesus turns a campus into a local Body of Christ (Ekklesia). One of the program’s goals is for the students to discuss the things of God among themselves, to cultivate a true interest in all things Jesus. A decrease in substance abuse, teen pregnancies, gang participation and dropouts are the result. Students graduate with a sense of purpose and destiny defined by the Word of God, and parents are thrilled. 

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