This website was developed and is maintained by the North Central Wisconsin Area Health Education Center.

Pastoral Counselor
Pastoral counselors or hospital chaplains provide spiritual and religious guidance to patients and families in health care settings.

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Work Activities/Environment
Hospital chaplains usually work in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, psychiatric facilities, correctional institutions or other health care environments. They work with patients, families and staff to provide spiritual and ethical direction and instruction on religious practices and beliefs. They conduct religious masses, provide counseling and companionship to patients and family members, and may deliver religious rites and ordinances. They may also oversee the pastoral care program in a health care setting.

Academic/Special Requirements
High school students should study humanities, social sciences, religion, and health. Chaplains usually require a bachelor's degree and then enroll in a 3-year program to acquire a professional degree (M.Div. or B.D.) from a seminary. Chaplains may also further their education with a specialized masters or doctoral degree in their field or the clinical field.

Educational Institutions
Maranatha Baptist University
UnityPoint Health - Meriter Hospital

Hospitals with Associated Educational Programs
Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Wausau
Aurora Health Care, Elkhorn
Auora Sinai Medical Center of Aurora Health Care Metro, Milwaukee
Gundersen Lutheran Hospital, LaCrosse
Luther Hospital, Eau Claire
St. Luke’s Medical Center, Milwaukee

Other Organizations:
Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh
225 N. Eagle Street
Oshkosh, WI 54901

Mendota Mental Health Institute
301 Troy Drive
Madison, WI 53704-1521

Meriter Health Service
Department of Pastoral Care
202 S. Park Street
Madison, WI 53715-1599

St. Camillus Campus
10200 West Bluemound Road
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
414/259-6333 or 800/317-9422

Average $40,120

Professional Organizations
American Association of Pastoral Counselors
9504A Lee Highway
Fairfax, VA, 22031-2303

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) – North Central Region
Gary Sartain (North Central Region)
PO Box 1832
Burnsville, MN, 55337-1832

Association of Professional Chaplains
2800 W. Higgins, Suite 295
Hoffman Estates, IL, 60169

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