Adventist Chaplaincy Ministry
The purpose of the Adventist chaplaincy ministry and the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are one: “Announce the eternal gospel to the world.” In this way, restore the shattered humanity to its fullness, in its relationship with God.
Christ modeled this ministry of restoration and entrusted its continuity to the church. “Only Christ’s method will be successful in reaching people. El Salvador treated men as someone who wanted to do them good: he showed them sympathy, attended to their needs and earned their trust. Then he told them: ‘Follow me’ (The Ministry of Healing, p.102).
The Adventist Chaplaincy Ministry seeks to establish a worldwide network of Adventist chaplains who care responsibly for the spiritual health of those under their care. Adventist chaplains increase the mission reach of the church, thus validating the authenticity of its pastoral ministry.
The Adventist Chaplaincy Ministry provides guidelines in order to apply, to the world field, the norms established by the General Association.
Who is a chaplain? Rivera (2010) contextualizes it as follows: “The term chaplain comes from the Latin word Capellanus. It applies to people who exercise the office of ministering and giving spiritual support to those who arise, guiding them in the cultivation of faith in God and a healthy self-esteem so that they can face the crisis situation they are experiencing. The word began to be used with the designation of a clergyman as minister of the monarch, who was not in charge of the parish but rather paid attention to the spiritual life of the monarch and his court. He was invested with ecclesiastical authority and owned a chapel” (p.13).
“Paget and McCormack (2006) consider that “the chaplaincy ministry develops because people need pastoral care even when they do not belong to a church (or its faith equivalent) and especially when they are going through a crisis… This ministry originally started to meet the needs of government employees and their agencies, such as the military and hospitals, today it is often an initiative of religious organizations and victims of critical events” (p. 5).
Speaking of the school chaplaincy, De la Cruz (2013) considers that the chaplain “seeks to promote a balanced, healthy and harmonious environment, as well as the development and spiritual well-being of the community… likewise seeks to promote fellowship, solidarity and service to the neighbor, also promotes the highest levels of civic morality. The mission is to anticipate and respond with real solutions to the great need for guidance and emotional and spiritual support in times of personal or collective crisis…” (pp. 33-34).