Chaplaincy is a healing, reconciling ministry of God, an expression and extension of God’s activity and mission in the world. It provides pastoral ministry in specialized settings to people who are hurting or in crisis, uprooted or dislocated. Through the presence of chaplains, the very settings in which they minister become surprising places of grace.
Chaplains are exceptional, well-trained ministers of the Word or commissioned pastors who serve in specialized ministries beyond the walls of the church. Chaplains are specially trained, called and ordained by the church, and sent by Jesus Christ to provide spiritual care to people in pain or spiritual distress. Chaplains serve in a variety of institutions, such as:
- Behavioral health
- Certified Educator for CPE
- Long term care
- Mental health
- Pastoral counselor
- Veterans Affairs
- Workplace/Industrial community
Chaplaincy and Care Ministry supports chaplains through:
- recruiting and identifying candidates who are fit for chaplain ministry
- assisting chaplain candidates through their education and/or specialized training
- endorsing chaplains for their ministry
- supporting chaplains and their families by providing resources, visits, prayer, etc.
- providing continuing education through conferences, ministry updates, and shared information
- affirming the connection between chaplains and calling churches by way of a Covenant of Joint Supervision
- promoting chaplaincy ministry in the church and community
- participating in national/state/provincial chaplaincy organizations
- educating the church about institutional ministry
- a Chaplain Development Fund, which assists current and aspiring chaplains as they meet educational needs
Rev. Sarah Roelofs, BCC
Director of Chaplaincy and Care
Rev. Roelofs is the Director of Chaplaincy and Care Ministry and the ecclesiastical endorser for the CRCNA. She graduated from Dordt University in Sioux Center, IA, and completed her Master of Divinity at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. Rev. Roelofs has worked as a chaplain in several acute care hospitals in Indiana and Colorado, and has served as a US Air Force Reserve chaplain. Rev. Roelofs is board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains, and has served on numerous certification and re-certification committees. She is an associate member of the Armed Forces Chaplains Board, Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Association of Religious Endorsing Bodies, Canadian Association for Spiritual Care, COMISS Network: The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings, and National Conference on the Ministry to the Armed Forces.
Carol VanderArk Champion
Senior Administrative Assistant
Carol is the Senior Administrative Assistant of Chaplaincy and Care Ministry. She assists chaplains throughout the endorsement process, coordinates the annual Chaplains Training, and provides support to the Director of Chaplaincy and Care. Carol has served the ministries of the CRCNA in a variety of roles over the course of 15 years. She lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband, Bob and daughter, Lidia.