Certification in Public Safety Chaplaincy

Applications are currently being accepted for Cohort #1.  
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the cohort is full.


Apply Here


What is Public Safety Chaplaincy?

Public Safety Chaplaincy is understood as the work of providing pastoral care and support to employees of first responder agencies and their families, as well as to victims of related public safety incidents.  Many Public Safety Chaplains work as volunteers, though some departments have paid chaplain positions.  The public safety chaplain should be a person who experiences a call to this particular ministry of service and sacrifice, offering themselves as a source of support to women and men whose daily work is often stressful and rigorous, both emotionally, mentally, and physically. 

Program Description

The certification in Public Safety Chaplaincy is designed to provide a thorough course of training for those desiring to serve as a public safety chaplain.  The curriculum covers the breadth and depth of the topics and issues encountered in the field by the public safety chaplain.  It is well-suited both for those already serving as chaplains and those who have experienced a call to this ministry but are not yet connected with an agency in this capacity.  An official sponsorship from a Public Safety Agency is a requirement of participation in this training program. 


The curriculum includes six modules, listed below.  Each module involves coursework to be completed at home, including reading and writing, as well as three monthly class meetings. 

  • Foundations 1: The Office of Public Safety Chaplain
  • Foundations 2: Pastoral Theology & Issues in Public Safety Chaplaincy
  • Issues & Answers in Public Safety Chaplaincy (suffering, death, evil, grief, crisis, suicide, etc.)
  • Crisis Intervention, Stress Management, Recovery & Resilience
  • Clinical Perspectives
  • Professional Perspectives


Delivery Model

Coursework will be offered in a hybrid distance learning and classroom setting over a period of 18 consecutive months.  Students are expected to complete assigned reading and writing on their own in preparation for monthly class sessions held on campus at the seminary in Columbia, SC.  All students in the cohort are required to attend monthly class sessions that begin on Friday afternoon and conclude on Saturday afternoon.  Students who successfully complete the training program will receive a certificate of completion.  Coursework will reflect the academic rigor and theological depth consistent with an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  However, courses are not graduate level and are not transferable credits for seminary.  Courses are unrelated to licensure or ordination as a Public Safety Chaplain.

Admission & Program Requirements

  • Application, admission, and enrollment.
  • 18 month commitment.
  • Connection with a Public Safety Agency and an official liaison who will sponsor you in the program.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (may be waived if applicant has significant public safety experience.)
  • A sense of call to the work of the public safety chaplain, a commitment to one’s own spiritual growth, and openness to the work of the Spirit. 
  • Monthly face-to-face class sessions held on the seminary campus in Columbia, SC from Friday afternoon through Saturday afternoon. (12 contact hours per month)
  • Completion of assigned reading and writing at home in between monthly class meetings.
  • Successful completion of learning outcomes, demonstrated in a culminating project.
  • Timely payment of tuition and ability to access required books.
  • Attendance at a Post Critical Incident Seminar during the course of the 18 month program.  ( visit http://www.scleap.org/PCIS.html for more information)

How to Apply

The program application can be found online at ltss.lr.edu/afl/pschaplaincy/apply.  A completed application includes the following:

  • A completed and signed application form
  • $50 non-refundable deposit (if admitted this will be applied to tuition)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work
  • Brief autobiographical essay
  • Psychological assessment
  • Consent to criminal and financial background check

Following the submission of all application materials, applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview with the admissions panel.

Payment Schedule



2016 DATES

January 15-16: Foundations 1

February 12-13: Foundations 1

March 11-12: Foundations 1

April 8-9: Foundations 2

May 13-14: Foundations 2

June 10-11: Foundations 2

July 8-9: Issues and Answers

August 12-13: Issues and Answers

September 9-10: Issues and Answers

October 14-15: Crisis Intervention

November 11-12: Crisis Intervention

December 9-10: Crisis Intervention


2017 DATES

January 13-14: Clinical Perspectives

February 10-11: Clinical Perspectives

March 10-11: Clinical Perspectives

April 7-8: Professional Perspectives

May 12-13: Professional Perspectives

June 9-10: Professional Perspectives

For more information:

For information about upcoming program dates, application deadlines, and other program details, visit ltss.lr.edu/afl

Contact Darcie Jones or Chaplain Eric Skidmore to inquire about the program further. 

Darcie Jones, 803-461-3217,  darcie.jones@lr.edu

Eric Skidmore, 803-206-8961, eskidmore@sled.sc.gov




Everything you need to apply for admission is right here.