Working with VA Chaplains
Ministers may work with the VA in four different statuses. The most common is full time, next three are part time situations. The three different types of part time positions are, part time, fee-based and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) students. Each of the first three (full-time, part-time, fee-based) requires an endorsement. If an individual is enrolled in a VA CPE program, they are not required to have an endorsement. We have found from our work with individuals in the VA CPE program that it is worth their effort in completing the process. Often they can apply for VA jobs and continue working with the VA after their program, but only if they have an endorsement from us.
Very often, the VA chaplain works within the boundary of presbytery so our support is limited. We encourage them if they change hospitals and move out of their presbytery to transfer their membership as appropriate. Our expectation of VA chaplains is they will be active members in their local presbytery. At a minimum, they must report their presence to the presbytery in which they labor.
We support VA Chaplains in their ministry by visiting them, and inviting them to participation in our annual training conference. If we discover needs, that are appropriate to share, we will immediately contact the presbytery and hope that the presbytery will return the courtesy.