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Become a volunteer chaplain

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer chaplain. Volunteers are a necessary and helpful part of the Pastoral Services Department. People from all walks of life donate valuable time and effort, day and night, every day of the year, to provide spiritual care and support for patients and their families during life’s most difficult moments. We’re proud of our team and the good work they accomplish.

Where volunteer chaplains serve

Volunteer chaplains work shifts to supplement full-time chaplains. They primarily cover our Javon Bea Hospital–Riverside campus in Rockford, and carry a pager in order to promptly respond to emergency situations. Occasionally, visits to Javon Bea Hospital–Rockton in Rockford may be necessary.


While many people think of volunteer chaplains as helpers, stopping by in their spare time to make a few friendly visits or to represent a particular church or faith, Mercyhealth recognizes chaplaincy as a credentialed discipline that requires formal training and pastoral competence. Mercyhealth is committed to providing trained and capable chaplains to patients in line with the standards of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

At Mercyhealth, volunteer chaplains:

  • Must have undergone formal training as a hospital chaplain through at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education
  • Interview with our chaplaincy staff and are formally accepted into the program
  • Meet the requirements of Mercyhealth, regarding all necessary shots or tests, or any other training deemed standard for volunteers working in a clinical setting

Apply to be a volunteer chaplain

To apply, complete the volunteer application.