The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the purpose for Adventist chaplains are one – to restore broken humanity to wholeness for time and eternity. God created a perfect universe based on principles of divine love and law, but Lucifer’s rebellion disrupted the union between the Creator and created, causing disharmony and separation. As part of that perfect universe, God created man and woman in His own image, whole and complete, with a mosaic of characteristics in the physical, mental, emotional, volitional, relational, spiritual, and sexual realms. Tragically, sin plunged the human race into crisis and brokenness, creating the need for restoration. Christ addressed this need for reconciliation and restoration when He declared His mission was to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10), “call sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32) and offer more abundant life (John 10:10) to whosoever will. Jesus defined His ministry in the words of Isaiah 61:1 and 2: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
The nature of that restorative ministry is explained by Ellen G. White: “Christ’s ministry alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Savior mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me’.” The Ministry of Healing,
Christ entrusted the continuation of His restorative ministry to His church, providing spiritual gifts to enable that purpose. The work of Seventh-day Adventist chaplains is an essential and dynamic element of that ministry and mission of the Church. As commissioned / licensed / credentialed ministers of the Church, chaplains labor for people at significant times in their lives, caring and restoring as did Christ. Working in diverse settings (educational campuses, community and government agencies, correctional institutions, healthcare facilities, military forces and the work place), they are the presence of the Church, often in places where the Church would otherwise have little or no ministry.
Chaplaincies are a valid and viable expression of ministry in the Church. Adventist
clergy who are called to chaplaincies and serve as endorsed chaplains in the various expressions of chaplaincy ministries are an integral element of the ministry in the Church. In recognition and affirmation of this dynamic ministry and its significant contribution to the mission of the Church, the General Conference established the ACM Department for three primary purposes: (1) To consolidate, coordinate, promote and support the various expressions of chaplaincy ministries; (2) To extend the ministry of the church in reaching the unreached for Christ; and (3) To continue the restorative ministry Christ commissioned of responding in relevant ways to the felt needs of people in their individual settings.
Adventist chaplains providing competent and responsible caring for the religious needs and spiritual well-being of all persons associated with the institution or organization they serve.
Promote Adventist chaplaincies throughout all the divisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The ACM mission has four elements: (1) To develop and / or sustain chaplaincy ministries; and recruit, endorse, train and support Adventist clergy as chaplains. ACM endeavors to place qualified Adventist pastors as chaplains on college and university campuses, in community agencies, correctional institutions, healthcare facilities, military forces and the work place. (2) To oversee and certify professional training programs. (3) To endorse and certify capable, competent and caring Adventist clergy as chaplains. All chaplains are first pastors, though not all pastors are called to be chaplains. (4) To provide pastoral care and nurture for people regardless of their declared faith or no faith. Chaplains must exercise spiritual leadership with integrity and be professionally proficient, flexible and balanced.