Would you like to bring life to your Humanist values in a professional or volunteer role? Are you interested in being a listening ear for those struggling with life’s challenges? Do you relish the opportunity to engage in community building? If you are passionate about helping others and about advancing secular values, you might be well suited to become a Humanist Chaplain.
To become a Humanist Chaplain you must be a member of Humanist Canada for a minimum of one year, and remain a member in good standing. You must also possess a relevant master’s-level degree or equivalent. Furthermore, you will need to be affiliated with a relevant institution that employs chaplains, either on a paid or volunteer basis.
The Humanist Canada Chaplaincy Committee evaluates applications according to a rigorous set of criteria to establish education and life experiences. Candidates must embody Humanist principles and have highly developed interpersonal, communication, and organization skills.
The requirements are summarized below, but if you are serious about this opportunity, you should become familiar with the official Humanist Chaplaincy Accreditation Program available here. If you already hold relevant a master’s-level degree, the steps are summarized below. If you are still pursuing your education, you can join as a Student Affiliate.
Step 1: Join Humanist Canada
The first step to becoming a Humanist Chaplain is to be a member of Humanist Canada.
If you’re not already a member, you can enrol right here on our website.
Step 2: One Year Period of Self-Assessment and Evaluation
During your first year as a member:
- Reach out to the Chaplaincy Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest and discuss how you can participate.
- Request to participate in informational mentorship sessions and events hosted by the Humanist Canada Chaplain Professional Development Committee, and attend regularly.
- Read about Humanism and confirm whether this is a worldview/philosophical fit for you.
- Watch videos and presentations on Humanism or Humanist-related topics on the Humanist Canada YouTube Channel, or elsewhere.
- Network with Humanists and Chaplains from a wide range of traditions.
- Join a national, regional, or local Humanist group and attend meetings or events.
Step 3: Identify Your Desired Institution
Contact your desired institution (e.g. hospital, university, Canadian Armed Forces, or Corrections Canada) and determine your eligibility for employment. Humanism, which falls outside of traditional faith groups, may be a new concept for some and may not be readily accepted. Humanist Canada will advocate with you to break down potential barriers, but applicants should have the tenacity and will to be a trailblazer.
Step 4: Apply for Humanist Canada Chaplaincy Accreditation
Email email@example.com to request a copy of our application package, which includes a pre-interview independent study module. These forms include questions about your interest in Humanism, education, employment, and volunteer work.
When you are ready to submit your application, after at least one year of membership, you must pay the $100 application fee via our website and submit the application package along with substantiating documents (three reference letters, degrees, and Vulnerable Sector Check) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once your payment is received, your application will be reviewed by the Chaplaincy Committee.
Step 5: Interview
If the application and the pre-Interview Independent Study module are deemed to reflect the work of a suitable potential candidate, you will be invited for an interview, preferably via Zoom.
Two HC members will interview you, at least one of which is an accredited Chaplain.
If your interview is deemed successful and the entirety of your application is found to meet all the requirements of the Humanist Chaplaincy Accreditation Program, you will be invited to attend Chaplaincy training.
Step 6: Pre-Training Independent Study Module
A few weeks before Chaplain Training begins you will be asked to submit the pre-Training Independent Study Module, which can be done at your own pace and was provided with the initial application package.
Step 7: Training
Training will be scheduled as soon as possible and will consist of remote sessions completed on weekends.
Step 8: Accreditation
Once training is duly completed, the HCCC will issue a Certificate of Accreditation as a Humanist Chaplain.
Step 9: Mentorship
After you receive your Humanist Canada Chaplaincy accreditation, you will be assigned a mentor. Your mentor will be an accredited Humanist Chaplain who will help to guide you in your Chaplaincy journey and provide a advice and share practical knowledge, individually or in a group setting.