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A Comprehensive Introduction

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This comprehensive introduction to the ministry of chaplaincy brings together three authors who oversee three of the leading chaplaincy programs in the United States. Written from an evangelical perspective, the book covers the foundations of chaplaincy and surveys specific types of chaplaincy work.

In the first half of the book, the authors delve into the history of chaplaincy work as well as its biblical, theological, and philosophical foundations. They introduce students to important topics such as endorsement, placement, and the constitutional and legal parameters of such work. They also consider the person of the chaplain and the understanding of chaplaincy as Christian ministry. In the second half of the book, the authors bring together expert contributors to survey ten specific contexts for chaplaincy work, such as education, healthcare, the military, corporations, prisons, public safety, and sports, and they explore the future of chaplaincy.

This book will be an invaluable resource for students of chaplaincy.

Part 1: Chaplaincy Examined
1. A Brief Introduction to Chaplaincy
2. Biblical, Theological, and Philosophical Foundations of Chaplaincy
3. Chaplains in History
4. The Constitution and Religious Freedom in Chaplaincy
5. Evangelical Identity and Practice
6. Endorsement and Employment
7. The Person of the Chaplain
8. Chaplaincy Care and Chaplain Skills
9. The Ministry of Presence and Hospitality
10. Chaplaincy Leadership
Part 2: Ten Functional Areas of Chaplaincy
11. Corporate Chaplaincy
Jeff Brown, Robert Terrell, Rick Higgins, and Donnie Jenkins
12. Healthcare Chaplaincy
Juliana Lesher
13. Military Chaplaincy
Keith Travis
14. Educational Chaplaincy
Michael W. Langston
15. Prison Chaplaincy
Michael W. Langston
16. Community Chaplaincy
Leroy Gilbert
17. Disaster Relief Chaplaincy
Michael W. Langston
18. Public Safety Chaplaincy
Chris Wade
19. Recreation Chaplaincy
Michael W. Langston
20. Sports Chaplaincy
Michael W. Langston
Conclusion: The Future of Chaplaincy
Appendix: Subareas of Chaplaincy


"Arguably the premier book on the chaplaincy ministry captures the heart and soul of this 'tip of the spear' ministry that extends beyond the confines of a local church or religious community environment. Written by a team of professional chaplaincy leaders and practitioners with a wealth of personal experience in this specialized field of ministry, it provides a clear, comprehensive, theologically grounded, and practical approach to pastoral care within various institutional settings. This book should be on every pastor and religious leader's bookshelf, be required reading for those pursuing the chaplaincy ministry, and be used as a reference manual by even the most experienced chaplains."

Chaplain (Major General) Doug Carver, US Army Retired, 22nd Army Chief of Chaplains

"The publication of this timely volume nods to the old saying, 'When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.' While chaplaincy has always been essential, the increasingly secular culture in which we find ourselves makes chaplaincy more important than ever. The day has long passed when most people can identify a church home and name its pastor. The documented decrease in religiosity from coast to coast these days has produced an era in which the need for pastoral care has skyrocketed while personal connections to pastors have fallen off the cliff. Which means that the need for chaplains who are called and equipped to minister in every imaginable context has never been greater. I highly recommend this book by three powerhouse authors with close to a century of chaplaincy experience in the trenches. The data tells us that the student (our secularized society) is ready. Thank God that the teachers in this book have finally appeared."

Chaplain Major General Dondi E. Costin, US Air Force Retired, 18th Air Force Chief of Chaplains; president, Liberty University

"Chaplaincy is a diverse and complex discipline. And rightfully so. People are diverse and complex. At heart, chaplaincy is a form of ministry that seeks to witness to God in a world that is being redeemed but remains filled with struggles, suffering, and joy. Beginning with the history of chaplaincy and moving on to explore the challenges of practicing in various contexts, this book captures well the intricate dimensions of chaplaincy as a vital form of ministry. This is an important, faithful, and hopeful book that provides an invaluable resource for theological educators, working chaplains, and anyone interested in ministry in a broken world."

John Swinton, professor in practical theology and pastoral care, University of Aberdeen

"Chaplaincy has seen an explosion of growth and interest in the last twenty-plus years. It has expanded beyond its traditional forms and broadened its focus for ministry. That expansion has led to increased professionalism and greater demand for specialized training and degree programs, but it has also led to greater complexity as well as theological and legal challenges. There is thus a need for a new and expanded chaplaincy textbook, and Jumper, Keith, and Langston have answered the call. This work is a welcome addition to the growing body of literature on chaplaincy ministry, and I am confident it will become the standard introductory textbook for chaplaincy classes at evangelical seminaries and divinity schools."

Chaplain (Colonel) John D. Laing, Army National Guard and senior chaplain, Texas Military Department; adjunct professor, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

"For those intrigued by the world of chaplaincy, I highly recommend Chaplaincy: A Comprehensive Introduction. This captivating book takes readers on a fascinating journey through the field, offering valuable insights from seasoned chaplains. It is brimming with practical advice and expert guidance, making it an indispensable resource for aspiring chaplains as well as those already immersed in the field. With its wealth of knowledge and inspiration, this invaluable resource empowers chaplains to serve with excellence and compassion."

Chaplain Colonel Steve West, US Air Force Retired; director of chaplaincy, National Association of Evangelicals

"As a leader in business, the military, and ministry, I quickly learned that chaplains are indispensable as a moral compass, a spiritual guide, and an invaluable coach who helps people navigate adversity, learn resilience, and truly grow through traumatic challenges. This book, written by three superb, battle-tested chaplains, is an essential tool for those aspiring to excellence as a chaplain."

Major General Bob Dees, US Army Retired; president, National Center for Healthy Veterans

"Steve Keith has been a vital part of the Operation Heal Our Patriots veteran's ministry at Samaritan's Purse. His valuable life experiences provide great insight into the importance of first responder and disaster response chaplains. This textbook emphasizes the important role of chaplains in a crisis--standing for God's truth and being a witness and a light in times of need. In this ever-changing world, we need courageous chaplains who stand for God's Word, act with integrity, show compassion, and recognize the need for prayer."

Franklin Graham, president and CEO, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritan's Purse

The Authors

  1. Mark A. Jumper

    Mark A. Jumper

    Mark A. Jumper (PhD, Salve Regina University) is associate professor and director of chaplaincy and military affairs at the Regent University School of Divinity, Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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  2. Steven E. Keith

    Steven E. Keith

    Steven E. Keith (DMin, Denver Seminary) is professor of chaplaincy at the Liberty University School of Divinity, Lynchburg, Virginia. He directs the Liberty University Center for Chaplaincy.

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  3. Michael W. Langston

    Michael W. Langston

    Michael W. Langston (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of chaplaincy at Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina.

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