/ Kyle E. Sims


Since taking my new job at Erskine Seminary, I have been able to represent the school at several chaplain events. Our seminary has a long history of training military chaplains. This week, I am in Washington DC at a Conference for all the Military Chaplain’s endorsers. These chaplains' love and passion for serving the Lord through the Chaplaincy Ministry are impressive. Here are a few thoughts about Chaplaincy.

First, it is a much more diverse ministry than just military chaplains. Civilian chaplains serve as police, fire, and medical chaplains. There are corporate chaplains that serve in industry and business. Sports chaplains serve within each sports community. I made a friend last fall with a chaplain with Racers for Christ, and it was interesting to see all the ways they sought to bless and evangelize the racing community. My friend Jim Browning, who helped edit the book “Heart of a Chaplian” identifies six different areas of Chapliancy. This ministry is more diverse than many realize.

Second, not all chaplains are full-time. I served 17 years as a volunteer Fire Chaplain for the City of Lancaster Fire Department. Many pastors serve as volunteer chaplains at hospitals or in other local organizations. Many do it for free. Many pastors serve as Reserve Military Chaplains while pastoring in the local church. Chaplaincy can be a great opportunity for local pastors to reach out and serve their community. 

Third, there is a need for Chaplains in almost every area. The need for military chaplains is increasing. The Navy needs over a hundred new chaplains in the next few years. Seminarians and young men thinking about ministry should at least pray and consider the possibility of the Lord’s call into Chaplaincy. 

Fourth, Chaplains are on the frontline of dealing with the government and cultural pressures. This means they must be firm in their convictions but flexible in their ministry. Chaplains must know how to stand on their beliefs while functioning in a secular situation. This can be tricky. This is where endorsing organizations are so helpful. The Presbyterian and Reformed Commission of Chaplains and Military Personnel (PRCC) serves our chaplains well as ther endorsing agency for conservative Presbyterians. 

Finally, we need to seek to support our Chaplains in their ministry. Prayer is a crucial component of this support. In general, prayers for chaplains need to be added to our regular intersession. Building relationships with chaplains, as we do with missionaries, could bless the local congregation and extend its ministry by supporting the work of chaplains around the world. Take time to explore how God uses chaplains in His kingdom and seek to support their work where you can. 

Kyle E. Sims

Kyle E. Sims

Director of Seminary Admission and Church Relations at Erskine Seminary. Principal Clerk ARP General Synod. Pastor since 1999. 6’ 11” former Basketball player.

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