Soccer Chaplains United What is a Chaplain?

Video Introduction

We have a few introduction videos for Soccer Chaplains United.

General Introduction (3 min)

Coach Testimonial (4.5 min)

Player Testimonial (4 min)

What is a chaplain?

Sometimes the first question that needs answering is, what is a chaplain? Chaplaincy has a long history dating back to the 4th century and uses in military and hospital — with these institutions realizing that people had spiritual needs requiring care and attention. Below is a short summary to answer the question: 

  • Chaplains are usually trained ministers that work outside of a religious setting (like a church) and inside a secular institution (like a hospital or a corporation)
  • Chaplains provide spiritual, social and emotional support to people from different faith (or no faith) traditions and for many different life situations
  • Chaplains serve as advocates for the people they serve — whether on issues of religion and faith or ethics and self-care

What isn’t a chaplain?

  • Chaplains do not proselytize (i.e., coerce one to change their faith)
  • Chaplains are not therapists or counselors, but provide pastoral counsel as needed and appropriate referrals when needed
  • Chaplains are not representative of all faith traditions, but support all individuals regardless of their faith (or non-faith) tradition through advocacy, encouragement and support

Some other key characteristics for soccer chaplains:

  • Provide pastoral counseling (i.e., pre-marital, marital, vocational, and grief)
  • Provide a listening and supportive presence for those in emotional and spiritual distress
  • Pray with and for people’s specific needs or circumstances 
  • Operate with strict confidentiality and sensitivity to personal and private issues 
  • Might lead group discussions on religious/faith issues, grief recovery, leadership, education, and character
  • Connect people to the local community and resources (ESL classes, etc.)
  • Connect people to local faith communities and other spiritual support resources 
  • Be present with people during difficult times (surgeries, a loss, transitions, etc.)
  • Officiate weddings, funerals, and other appropriate services
  • Help reconcile a broken relationship between people within the organization
  • Help a person/family transition to a new club or team
  • Work throughout the whole organization — athletes, coaches, staff, alumni, academy players, families, and even fans.
  • Know and understand soccer/performance
  • Have bilingual and other skills to help with language and cultural needs
  • Typically serve in a volunteer capacity