Assistant to the Bishop/Director, Federal Chaplaincies

    • Job Tracking ID: 512830-645851
    • Job Location: Washington, DC
    • Job Level: Any
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Full-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: August 22, 2018
    • Years of Experience: Not Applicable
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:

PERSONNEL POLICIES STATEMENT: In all their services, both within the churchwide organization and in the fulfillment of this churches’ mission in the world, the employees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America shall carry out the duties to which they are assigned in faithfulness to the faith and mission of the ELCA.


Establishes and administers all aspects of the ELCA federal chaplaincy program. Supervises the operation, staff and volunteers of the Bureau for Federal Chaplaincy Ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Recruits, reviews and interviews, candidates for the positions in federal chaplaincies, and fulfills the requirements for endorsement and approval of these applicants. Supports existing chaplaincy ministries through emails, telephone calls, social media, newsletters, mailings and hosting annual professional education and training events. Seeks the advice and counsel of the federal chaplaincy ministries advisory committee appointed by the presiding bishop. Provides introductions and orientation for new chaplains. Relates to the assistant to the presiding bishop; executive for the conference of bishops as supervisor for day-to-day issues, with the presiding bishop providing broad oversight. This position is based in Washington, DC.


1. Informs, recruits, reviews applications and interviews prospective pastors and seminary students for positions in the federal chaplaincy program. Ensures candidates meet requirements as specified in the ELCA Roster Manual for endorsement and federal department standards for hiring. Annually documents ecclesiastical credentials of pastors serving in federal chaplaincies. Maintains informational files on all chaplains, chaplain candidates and applicants.

2. Supports chaplaincy by providing pastoral care to chaplains and their family members. In occasional visits to chaplains, the incumbent is required to travel by air and car, and maneuver various settings and constrictive environments where chaplains serve: ships, aircraft carriers, submarines, correctional facilities, hospitals and restricted locations.

3. Provides regular email, telephone and mail contacts to support the church’s connection to the chaplains and provides important information, as needed. In performing this role, the employee is required to use fingers and hands to operation a computer, telephone and other equipment. Develops and distributes ministry-specific materials as needed. Communicates church policies and procedures about chaplaincy to personnel.

4. Reviews performance and status of ministry with chaplains and updates the conference of bishops and the ELCA church council on federal chaplaincies.

5. Coordinates with synodical bishops on all chaplaincy applications as well as the mobilization or demobilization of chaplains. Fosters relationships between the ELCA chaplaincy and federal departments, bureaus and agencies, military forces, full-communion partner churches, ecumenical and interreligious colleagues.

6. Provides material, spiritual and theological support for ministry conducting annual education and training events for federal chaplains assigned worldwide, intending each chaplain to attend unless prohibited by operational, training or mission requirements.

7. Coordinates activities with church units where federal chaplaincy and other ministries address young adults, global, social service, theological and ethical concerns.

8. Interprets the work of the federal chaplaincy and other ELCA-wide ministries to the whole church.

9. Consults with the military chiefs of chaplains’ offices, Veterans Affairs (VA) National Chaplains Center leadership, authorized officials in the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, including the US Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Prisons.

10. Participates in cooperative efforts of the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF) and the Endorsers Conference for Veterans Affairs Chaplaincy (ECVAC).

11. Coordinates annual budgeting and performance appraisals for the federal chaplaincy ministries staff with to the assistant to the presiding bishop; executive for the conference of bishops.

12. Evaluates effectiveness of existing programs and policies, recommends changes to the presiding bishop.

Physical Effort.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Experience and Skills:

  1. Chaplain with proven ability to provide pastoral care and counseling, including spiritual and theological support to military and federal chaplains.

  2. Demonstrated familiarity with the organizational structure of the federal government, armed forces, federal departments, bureaus and agencies employing or relying on volunteer chaplains.

  3. Familiarity with and ability to express the structure, constitution, roster manual, policies and teachings of the ELCA.

  4. Significant supervisory experience and management skills.

  5. Knowledge of interviewing, evaluating and conducting other personnel procedures.

  6. Appreciation for the relationships shared with full-communion partner churches providing Lutheran word and sacrament ministries to Lutheran personnel and facilitating ministries to all in the care of ELCA chaplains.

  7. Outstanding written and oral communication skills.

  8. Commitment to the mission and ministry of this church.