Welcome to the front page of The Coalition of Spirit-filled Churches ecclesiastical endorsing agency! By chance, research, referral, or perhaps even divine guidance, you have landed here. So, who are we?
We are a very broad-spectrum administrative agent serving predominantly non-denominational Christian churches for the purposes of federally-vetted ecclesiastical endorsement. To date, we represent over 1.5 million Americans, members of numerous individual churches as well as networks of churches. As of this August 2023, we serve 548 chaplains (approximately 60% are Federal – military, VA, and Bureau of Prisons) ministering in a wide variety of settings.
Incorporated in 1999 as a 501 (C) (3) non-profit endorsing body of affiliated churches, we are unique in a number of ways. We do not have a Statement of Doctrine, nor a listing of “Dos and Don’ts,” with the exception of requiring all of our affiliated member-churches to be of the Christian faith. We also require all of our chaplains to have and maintain a relationship with a church that has granted, or will grant us, authorization to serve them as their endorser. We highly value “the church,” and we view the church as a living, vibrant community of faith composed predominantly of laypersons –not exclusively clergy as are some credentialing ecclesiastical bodies -- and it holds the primary responsibility of the empowerment and accountability of the chaplain. We do not demand that our affiliated churches embrace a specific theology or doctrine or practice. As a result, we probably are the most diverse Christian endorsing agency in terms of gender, orientation, theology, ethnicity, and practices.
What we look for in chaplain applicants for endorsement – in addition to a proper MDiv or equivalent (which MUST have a substantial portion of academic theology or theology-related disciplines) - is a clear sense of calling to chaplaincy, a robust understanding of pluralism (it is NOT about the context of one’s ministry; it IS about the PRACTICE of pluralism), proper motivation(s) for chaplaincy, and basic competency as a pastoral caregiver.
We hold agency membership or personal membership (the endorsing executive) in: The Association for Clinical Pastoral Education; College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy; Association of Professional Chaplains; American Association of Pastoral Counselors [now merged into a division of ACPE]; National Institute of Business and Industrial Chaplains; Military Chaplains Association; Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies; American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy; National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces; Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy; The Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling; and the COMISS Network. At every opportunity, we seek to advocate for professional chaplaincy and quality clinical pastoral care.
Please take a few minutes and explore this site. It changes regularly. We pray that the information it contains will be helpful to you. We are 24 years old and are growing rapidly. In December 2002, we reached a milestone of representing our first one million American Christians from numerous independent congregations, and now over seventy fellowships or small denominations. If you are surfing the web today and are looking for a possible fellowship/denomination with which to affiliate, we invite you to click on the "Links to The CSC Member Groups" button to the left to view those Coalition groups which have an internet site. Similarly, if you are a prospective student looking for potential sources of funding for your theological education (Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate) and/or professional development as a pastoral caregiver (residencies, fellowships, and continuing education), you will want to click here for a fairly comprehensive list of helpful links to SCHOLARSHIPS and quality possibilities. If you are a congregational leader looking for resources to help your congregation better understand the military family issues and how to minister to these military members, veterans, and their families, please visit Veteran/Military Friendly Congregations – Congregation and ministry support for military, veterans and their families. (vmfc-usa.org). Also for caring for deployed military families, please visit our deployment resources page. For resources in learning how to better minister to veterans with PTSD, this is a good start: PTSD: National Center for PTSD. For resources in learning how to better minister to veterans with PTSD, this is a good start: AboutFace.
If we may be of service to you or your congregation, please feel free and warmly invited to contact us.
The Reverend David B. Plummer
PS: Want to know what chaplains do in 2.5 minutes? Click here