Chaplain Commissioning Program

Following the institution of the FBFR training program, CIA developed the Chaplain Commissioning Program (CCP) to commission individuals as volunteer CISM chaplains for two primary purposes: 1) to serve as chaplains during periods of CIA deployments and crisis interventions and 2) to provide chaplain support to local communities on an as-needed/as-requested basis following the direction of local authorities. This is a lay-chaplaincy, not an ecclesiastical endorsement.

Through the implementation of CCP, CIA is able to train individuals to intervene in local crisis events and provide CIA with a pool of well-trained chaplains who can serve those in need.  By providing chaplain services to the community, CIA also helps fill a present void by ministering to the general public during times of high stress crisis situations. CIA invites you to consider going through our trainings and applying to join this vital corps of volunteer chaplains.

Details pertaining toward the commissioning program that all prospective candidates should be aware of include:

Prerequisite Courses (FBFR and FEMA)

Candidates who wish to submit an application for the CCP must have attended and completed the FBFR courses as sponsored by CIA and completed the specified online training courses presented by FEMA. Verification that a candidate has successfully completed each course is based upon receipt of a certificate of course completion issued by the ICISF, CSI, or FEMA at the end of each course.  All FBFR course certifications issued at a CIA training event are tracked and maintained by CIA.  Copies of all course certifications issued by FEMA should be presented to CIA. The CCP prerequisite courses are listed below and must be completed in successive order.

FBFR Courses

1. Assisting Individuals in Crisis / ICISF

2. Pastoral Crisis Intervention / ICISF

3. Chaplaincy Basic Training / CSI

FEMA Courses

1. IS-700.B- National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction

2. IS-800.D - National Response Framework, An Introduction

Application Fee

The CCP application fee is $250.00 and is due with the candidate’s application packet. In the event a candidate does not pass the candidate prescreening or if a candidate fails to gain approval from the CCP panel, they will not receive a refund of their application fee. Candidates who voluntarily withdrawal their applications during any phase of the CCP application process will forfeit their rights to any refunds of the application fee.  The elements of the application fee include those costs associated with processing a candidate’s application.


The application itself is rather comprehensive and requires an essay, several letters of reference, as well as signing a Lifestyle Agreement. This agreement covers several "grey" areas that we ask our chaplains to abstain from as part of setting an example and living above reproach, even though they may not be sinful. Among these things are abstaining from gambling, tobacco, and alcohol use. To review a copy of the Lifestyle Agreement you can request it here.

Each year there is a specific time period when applications are sent out and a deadline for submitting them back (typically allowing 6 weeks for submission). If you have taken all 3 of CIA's FBFR courses you will be notified via email when that application window is open. If you have recently completed all the prerequisite courses and haven't received an email, you can contact us to see when the next application window will be.

Notice of Background Screening

CIA makes every attempt possible to protect the integrity of CIA, the chaplain’s corps, and those receiving assistance.  Upon receipt of the candidate’s application packet and application fee, CIA will initiate the mandatory background checks.  The list of background checks conducted by CIA will include:

  • National Criminal File Check (Includes Social Security Verification)
  • Regional Criminal File Check
  • National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR)
  • County Courthouse Search
  • Federal Courthouse Search
  • Motor Vehicle Record
  • Credit Report

CCP Process Flow

Candidates eligible for submitting an application for CCP will have 1) met all of the prerequisite requirements noted within the application packet, 2) submitted a complete candidate application with supporting recommendations, references, agreements, fees, and 3) passed all background investigations, credit checks, DMV checks, CCP panel evaluations, and the CCP panel interview. The intention for instituting such rigors within the application process is to ensure those candidates who are eventually approved for commissioning will not represent a risk of violating the CIA Statements of Faith and core values, the delicate emotional and physical circumstances of those they interact with, or the Biblical principles of spiritual care-giving as illustrated from Scripture. The six (6) tiers of the CCP application process are as follows:

  1. CCP Prerequisite Process
  2. CCP Application Process
  3. CCP Prescreening Process
  4. CCP Panel Interview
  5. Candidate Notification Process
  6. CCP Annual Recertification Process

Recertification Requirements

Throughout their service to CIA, chaplains are required to fulfill certain annual proficiency activities.  The primary reason for instituting such requirements is to promote a continued lifestyle among chaplains that is consistent with the initial commissioning qualifications.  The secondary reason is to establish a way of maintaining routine contact and an ongoing relationship with chaplains bearing CIA credentials.  The annual requirements for CIA chaplains include the following activities:

  • Chaplaincy annual activity report
  • Participation in ongoing training courses/events (as prescribed by CIA)
  • Submission of a recertification packet
  • Submission of an annual recertification fee ($100.00)
  • Mentorship participation at an AIC or PCI conference – OR -
  • Deploying with CIA.

If you have any other questions about the application process or the CCP program you can check out our CCP FAQ page, or  feel free to email us with your specific questions.

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