The WELS Chaplain Certificate (CC) program exists to help address the challenges that face WELS chaplains in meeting requirements to gain access and to carry on ministry with public or private healthcare agencies, in hospitals or correctional facilities, on military installations, and with public safety agencies. The Chaplain Certificate program is offered by Martin Luther College in cooperation with the WELS Commission on Special Ministries.

The WELS Chaplain Certificate program also exists to assist certified chaplains to receive ongoing education and training opportunities so that they may enhance and increase their skill sets as they learn new insights for sharing the love of Christ with others.

The scope of the WELS Chaplain Certificate is only to certify that a prescribed curriculum has been successfully completed. It demonstrates to public institutions that the chaplain has completed a certain level of spiritual guidance training appropriate to serve those within that institution.

The WELS Chaplain Certificate enhances, or augments, one’s existing qualifications for ministry. The program applies biblical truths to the issues encountered by chaplains. It does not provide theological training, so the candidate must already have a basic understanding of God’s Word and Christian doctrines. By itself, the certificate does not qualify one for a call into public ministry or employment as a spiritual leader in a church or any other institution.

The WELS Chaplain Certificate program also requires continuing education units for graduates to retain certification.

Participants in the program will complete four basic courses (10 credits) and one elective (3 credits). The electives are offered for those who want to specialize in a particular area of chaplaincy.

Entrance Requirements

  • Official transcripts of highest degree earned
  • Congregational membership in good standing in WELS or denomination in fellowship with WELS
  • Ability to spend at least 10 hours per week for each 3-credit college course
  • Ability to take online courses (computer and internet access required)
  • Ability to take a one-week seminar at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon WI

If you have other questions, please check the FAQ tab.

CLICK HERE for current course offerings and registration.

Reverend Robert J. Dick (WELS Chaplain Certificate Program), chair  chaplaincert@wels.net

Chaplain Ed Fredrich (The Lutheran Home Association), continuing education sub-committee

Reverend Philip Henselin (Institutional Ministries, executive director)

Professor Joel Russow (Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary), application review committee

Professor Ross Stelljes (Martin Luther College)

Reverend Fred Voss

Reverend John Zeitler, continuing education sub-committee

Reverend Joel Gaertner (WELS Commission on Special Ministries)

Reverend David Rosenbaum (Secretary)