Pro Soccer Chaplaincy Association Close to Unofficially Launching
The Pro Soccer Chaplains Association (PSCA) is close to an informal and unofficial launch after a year’s worth of discussion and work to understand a way forward for the future. What initially began in late 2021 with the decision to host a leadership summit between the different organizations operating in the pro soccer space, COVID canceled an in-person meeting, but spurred on the decision to begin the process through a series of regular meetings online.
Leaders of the different groups and organizations that have volunteer chaplains posted within the top professional soccer leagues in North America came together to understand ways forward with the ever-shifting and growing landscape of professional soccer. Amongst some of the drivers — standards, accountability, unity and community, and a growing knowledge base and resource for chaplains for the future.
In January of 2022, leaders from Athletes in Action (AIA, the pioneer of sports ministry in soccer), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Impact City FC (ICFC), Soccer Chaplains United, and Upper90 met together to begin what would be a year long process of discerning and understanding the future.
Some of the clearest outcomes include:
- selecting a representative name that could incorporate multiple organizations
- working to agree on certain standards and expectations of chaplains and organizations
- creating opportunities and pathways for future growth
- developing collaboration points and community opportunities for chaplains and organizations
- creating a voluntary “advisory board” to assume leadership and ongoing formation
I am using the terminology of “unofficially launching” because there are aspects of the PSCA which are potentially still to be determined. For example, does the PSCA become a 501(c)3? Does the PSCA need access to funding to help subsidize chaplain activities and gatherings.
After a year of working together, it is the start of something and by no means a final iteration, but it carries great potential. As I look at the landscape of soccer, especially in North America, in addition to rapid growth and change has come an increasing standard of professionalization. This has its unique challenges and it is my hope that the PSCA will be on the vanguard of adapting and growing with the game. As for Soccer Chaplains United, our own group will be part of the PSCA and continue to evaluate our relationships and seeking best ways forward for the sake of those in and around the game.