PRCC Chaplain Code of Ethics
Whereas Jesus Christ, the Head of His Church, has ordained His body to be His primary instrument through which He carries out His messianic, saving and sanctifying ministry to people,
We, the Presbyterian and Reformed Commission on Chaplains and Military Personnel (PRCC), representing the churches of our respective member denominations [the PCA, the OPC, and the RPCNA] are committed to endorsing only well-qualified chaplains for military, police, hospital, Veterans Administration, prison, industrial and other institutional chaplaincy ministries. Therefore, we are unequivocally committed to maintaining, by relying on God’s sanctifying grace, only the highest standards of chaplain selection, oversight and endorsing accountabilities.
In seeking energetically to maintain a demonstrable and credible commitment to a realistic code of ethics, in support of the above stated purpose, we, the members of the Commission, subscribe to the following specific obligations, and further will require any chaplain we endorse to subscribe, confessing our conscious reliance on God’s enabling grace to do so.
1. To uphold carefully and ethically, without mental reservation, the biblical truths, doctrinal and confessional distinctives, policies and practices of our ordaining and endorsing denominations as represented through the PRCC.
2. To abide by all the requirements for ministry of the institution(s) seeking the ministry services of a PRCC- endorsed chaplain, unless one or more of those requirements is plainly in contradiction to the word of God and the confessional standards of the chaplain’s endorsing church. In that unlikely but possible eventuality, we commit to a wholehearted effort to resolve the difference(s) through the process of humble, respectful and biblical discussion.
3. To require our endorsed Chaplains to provide ministry to all those whom they are called to serve, which is in accord with biblical standards of kindness, confidentiality, humility, and ethical regard for those recipients.
4. To respect and uphold the ethical and constitutional right of other endorsers and their respective chaplains, to maintain and express their doctrinal distinctives and ecclesiological practices. At the same time we thereby do not agree or imply any willingness, overtly or covertly, to deny or otherwise suppress the free and appropriate expression of our own distinctives, of which offering prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is a case in point.
5. To encourage our own (and other non-PRCC endorsed chaplains) to provide the maximum of cooperative ministry without any covert or overt pressure on our own, or other chaplains, to compromise their conscience. At the same time, we are committed to respecting those distinctives which make a cooperative ministry possible.
6. To seek actively the grace of God, in order to engage in all relevant aspects of endorsement, approval, and oversight of PRCC chaplains in their pastoral ministry, in accordance with recognized standards for a genuinely godly personal conduct in all matters public and private.