Chaplaincy & Pastoral Counseling


The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship currently has more than 785 endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors who are actively serving in a variety of specialized settings. CBF-endorsed chaplains serve in each branch of the United States Armed Forces, medical centers, correctional institutions, hospice organizations, police, fire and rescue departments, colleges and universities, businesses and industries, retirement communities, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Civil Air Patrol as well as in many other specialized settings. CBF-endorsed pastoral counselors serve in counseling centers, interdisciplinary settings and on church staffs.

Carl Hart Award for Chaplaincy
Now accepting Nominations for 2021!

Chaplain Carl Hart served as a prison chaplain throughout the state of Tennessee and was the first Director of Chaplaincy for the Tennessee Department of Corrections. He served as Associate Director of Correctional/Institutional Chaplaincy with the Home Mission Board and in 1977 was named Director of the Home Mission Board’s Chaplaincy Division. After retiring in 1985, Chaplain Hart was endorsed to serve as the Director of Chaplaincy for Allied Systems, Inc. in Atlanta. In the beginnings of CBF, Chaplain Hart was among those who advocated for the Fellowship to take up the ministry of endorsement of Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors and was instrumental, in collaboration with others, to develop the initial processes and policies for endorsement. Chaplain Hart served a term as Interim Director of Chaplaincy for CBF, establishing the newly created Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Ministries Division.

In honor of Chaplain Hart’s ministry and legacy, The Carl Hart Award is presented annually to a CBF endorsed chaplain or pastoral counselor to recognize outstanding ministry.

Now accepting Nominations for 2021!

Nominations should detail how the chaplain or counselor has demonstrated excellence in their ministry. Sustained performance over time is preferred but rising to the occasion in a unique situation will be considered. Nominations should also address their involvement in CBF life. Nominees shall have served at least 5 years as a CBF endorsed chaplain or counselor.

Submit your 2021 nominations to before the deadline of February 28, 2021.


CBF Stories

Check out “So You Want to be a Chaplain/Counselor”—a new audio story series about the incredible work of our CBF-endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors.

CBF also provides endorsements for membership in various professional organizations, including the Association of Professional Chaplains, American Association of Pastoral Counselors and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Learn more about CBF Chaplaincy and our legacy of 1,000 endorsed persons by watching the video below!

Are you seeking endorsement?

CBF’s Council on Endorsement considers applications three times per year. Applications for new endorsement from CBF will be considered at the council’s meetings scheduled as follows:

  • Council meets November 5-6, 2021 — Deadline for applications is September 20, 2021
  • Council meets March 4-5, 2022 — Deadline for applications is January 18, 2022
  • Council meets August 5-6, 2022 — Deadline for applications is June 13, 2022
  • Council meets November 4-5, 2022 — Deadline for applications is September 26, 2022

The requirements to seek endorsement may be found here. In order to apply for endorsement, the first step is to speak with Renee Owen, the CBF Endorser of Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors. To connect with the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Office and to begin the process of endorsement, please fill out the form below.

It is important for candidates who are interested in serving as military chaplains to have at least 2 years full-time ministry leadership experience prior to endorsement

Updated endorsements, requests for board certification letters and renewal letters, as well as additional information updates are accepted at any time. The application for updated endorsement can be found here. (Do not use this form if you are seeking initial endorsement.)

If you are currently endorsed, please take a moment to tell us about significant events in your ministry this year. Please complete this form and return to Renee Owen at

Would you like to make a gift to benefit CBF Endorsed chaplains and pastoral counselors?
Make a gift to the George Pickle Fund.
Make a gift to the Chaplaincy Assistance Fund.

To contact our office directly, call (770) 220-1654 or email