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Chaplaincy CE at Baylor's Faith and Sports Institute

Feb 15, 2022

One of the Soccer Chaplains United’s values is continuing education (CE) for its chaplains. The CE that is often needed for the chaplaincy work seeks to incorporate a number of different areas that are unique and specific to the role. CE can be around pastoral and spiritual care, chaplaincy, or sports in general, or soccer specific. Because Soccer Chaplains United is not quite resourced or staffed to provide all of the necessary CE for its chaplains (a future aspiration), we partner with and have chaplains undertake CE with different institutions. One institution that has risen of late is Baylor University’s Faith and Sports Institute (FSI) which is a part of Truett Seminary.

Soccer Chaplains United is developing a partnership with FSI having already known several of the key leaders through several academic and practitioner conferences (ie, Congress on Christianity and Sport, etc.).

Recently, chaplain Jordan Medas undertook an offering for a certificate course with FSI and he shared his experience.

This past fall, with the encouragement of my home church and SCU, I participated in an 8 week entitled “Mental Health in Sports”…While the class doesn’t make one ready to counsel athletes directly…on…eating disorders, addictions, and anxiety, the class more than prepares (chaplains) working with athletes to be aware of signs leading to mental illness, it’s potential causes, it’s effects, what to be on the look out for and resources to support athletes.

Jordan Medas, on the class content and outcomes

Mental health issues have risen to the forefront of many sport and athletic conversations as we see a cry from athletes of all levels around the mental and emotional needs. Chaplains must be careful to not overstep bounds and to effectively refer or “signpost” athletes to appropriate resources (counseling, therapy, etc.). But sometimes recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental health can be a challenging space for volunteer chaplains who are in and around the team to varying degrees.

FSI is a group leading the way in creating content that helps those working in sports industry. Jordan also shared his future hopes for more CE through FSI:

I cannot encourage this class enough…for anyone working with athletes at all age levels. The class and professors are flexible and work with any schedule. The information given is helpful, current, not overly scientific or difficult to comprehend and can be put into use almost immediately in helping athletes develop good mental wellness.

Jordan Medas, reflecting on the FSI course work

I’d like to encourage you to financially support Soccer Chaplains United. A portion of every donation goes toward subsidizing and creating chaplaincy education and support. And your support of our work helps us to develop partnerships with other faith and sport groups for the betterment of our chaplains and the advancement of God’s Kingdom. You can make a gift through PushPay or mail a donation to Soccer Chaplains United, PO Box 102081, Denver, CO 80250.

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