Chaplain Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

By | August 15, 2023
Chaplain Job Description
Chaplains provide spiritual guidance to medical patients and their families.

Chaplain Job Description, Key Duties and Responsibilities

This post provides complete information on the job description of a chaplain, to help you learn about the work they do.

It presents the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities that commonly make up the chaplain work description in most organizations.

It also shows the major requirements you may be expected to fulfil if you are seeking to work as a chaplain by recruiters.

Please, continue reading to increase your knowledge of the chaplain career:

What Does a Chaplain Do?

A chaplain is responsible for providing spiritual guidance to medical patients and their families, including medical facilities staff members, or a variety of faiths and religious belief systems.

A chaplain is usually employed by a hospital or any similar medical facility to work full time as part of a team-oriented environment, but he/she also carries out several duties independently.

A chaplain can be referred to as a clergy member who is ordained to assist residents or patients in their religious and spiritual pursuits.

The chaplain job description involves offering services such as ministry and spiritual guidance to patients, family members and caregivers in a hospital environment.

It may also entail for performing specific religious duties relevant to the faith he/she was ordained in, an example of one of these duties is the administration of last rites.

The chaplain is saddled with the responsibility of executing several crucial activities or tasks.

These include intervening in crisis, by giving emotional and spiritual support to families, patients, and other staff members in the event of death, profound diagnosis, or any other life-changing moments.

A chaplain is also responsible for counselling patients and staff by advising them and guiding them spiritually.

He or she may also be required to answer questions related to end-of-life concerns and other spiritual issues, while also ensuring that all information shared with him/her during consultation and counseling sessions remain confidential.

Another function that usually makes up a chaplain work description is to organize, conduct, and assist in spiritual rituals such as the administration of the last rites, praying with patients, families, caregivers, and staff members.

A chaplain may sometimes be required to perform these rituals outside the hospital or medical facilities environment.

He/she is also saddled with the responsibility of organizing regular rounds of hospital wards where critically ill patients are treated, such as the intensive care unit.

He/she must also ensure that the hospital worship place is well-maintained and kept clean, by performing small cleaning tasks, replacing candles, and straightening and arranging furniture.

Also, a chaplain is responsible for serving as a bridge or liaison between the medical facility and local religious organizations and churches.

To become a chaplain, the individual is required to demonstrate certain qualities and skills that guarantee efficiency in the performance of role.

Some of the required skills for the chaplain job include profound spiritual knowledge, excellent communication, and interpersonal skills; leadership skills, public speaking, emotional intelligence, counselling, and human relationship skills.

In terms of academic qualifications, the position of a chaplain requires the candidate to possess a Master’s degree in fields such as Divinity, Spirituality, Theology, or Pastoral Counselling, or in any other related discipline.

Most employers also prefer candidates who have 2 to 4 years of experience working in a clinical or hospital environment.

Chaplain Salary: The average salary for a chaplain is $49,644 annually.

Chaplain Job Description Example/Sample/Template

The major duties, tasks, and responsibilities that commonly make up the chaplain job description include:

  • Responding effectively and promptly to requests for support
  • Working cooperatively as a part of a small multi-faith team
  • Writing reports and keeping accurate records of contacts
  • Providing pastoral care services to patients, families, caregivers, and hospital staff
  • Working cooperatively with staff to support clients
  • Acting as a representative of the religious community to the medical facility
  • Interacting with patients to express feelings and explore the meaning of their experience
  • Overseeing, conducting, and monitoring the hospital’s religious activities
  • Maintaining a healthy professional relationship with the hospital administration
  • Overseeing and maintaining the hospital worship space.

Chaplain Job Description for Resume

If you have worked before as a chaplain or are presently working in that role and are writing a new resume, your resume will be stronger if you have the professional experience section in it.

This section will help you to effectively communicate the duties and responsibilities you have performed or are performing as a chaplain.

This information can help you win the recruiter’s mind to your application as most recruiters love to hire people with relevant experience for the vacant position they want to fill, which means that you stand a better chance of being invited to an interview if the chaplain work experience is important to succeeding on the new job.

You can apply the above chaplain job description sample in making a great professional experience section for your resume.

Chaplain Requirements – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities for Career Success

If you are seeking to work as a chaplain, here are major requirements you may be expected to meet by employers to be considered for employment:

  • Profound spiritual knowledge, since a chaplain must utilize his/her knowledge of different faiths to carry out religious rituals, lead prayers, and answer spiritual questions
  • Excellent communication skills, since a chaplain must be able to interact verbally with patients, families, caregivers, and other staff members
  • Good listening skills, which enable a chaplain to be attentive to patients and counsel those with spiritual needs
  • Leadership skills, since a chaplain is required to lead prayers and religious services, which demands leadership ability
  • Good interpersonal skills, since a chaplain must be able to provide emotional support and counselling
  • 2 to 4 years of experience working in a clinical or hospital environment
  • A Master’s degree in fields such as theology, divinity, spirituality, pastoral counseling, or any other related discipline.


If you are a recruiter, employer, or HR manager needing to hire for a chaplain position, you will need to publish a description of the position to inform prospective candidates of the duties and responsibilities they will be expected to perform if hired for the chaplain role.

This information will help them to assess their capability for the job themselves to decide whether to apply for it or not, which means that only qualified candidates for the chaplain job will apply for it.

You can use the job description example provided on this page in writing the perfect description for the vacant chaplain position in your organization.

This post is also helpful to individuals interested in the chaplain career; they will be able to learn all they need to know about what the role does.