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Chaplaincy, Pastoral Counseling & Other Ministry Jobs Beyond the Church

“Embrace the trust and relationships God gives you for spiritual wellness.”

Rev. Veronica Fallah, a graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology, shares this advice in Equally Yoked: Trust in Relationships for Spiritual Wellness. The book was inspired by Rev. Fallah’s many years of service as a healthcare chaplain and counselor.

It’s a big world, and God calls people from all walks of life to offer spiritual guidance for individuals, families and communities in a variety of settings. 

In response to this call, Saint Paul offers Master’s degrees that prepare students for a variety of ministry careers. Continue reading for a summary of the many important ministry jobs outside of a traditional church setting.

Healthcare Chaplains

Healthcare chaplains like Rev. Fallah minister to individuals, families and medical professionals. They provide spiritual support in times of illness, disability and death. 

At many healthcare facilities, chaplains are considered to be full-fledged members of the patient care team. They serve people of all faiths and can meet in patient rooms, waiting areas or hospital chapels. Chaplains offer prayer, sacraments and worship, and may provide ethical guidance for those facing difficult medical decisions. 

In addition to hospitals, chaplains may serve in hospice care, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and substance abuse programs.

Military Chaplains

Military chaplains like Capt. Jose Martinez offer crucial support to Active, Reserve and National Guard troops serving across all branches of the armed forces. They may also lead worship services on bases and posts around the world. 

Their role is not to justify war, but to provide spiritual guidance to all service members during times of war and peace. They assist units who are preparing for war as well as those already deployed to a conflict theater. They may also work with veterans. 

After completing his seminary degree in 2009, Capt. Martinez joined the 139th Airlift Wing, Missouri Air National Guard as an Air Force Chaplain. In 2017 he received Air National Guard Chaplain of the Year Honors

Capt. Martinez served as an action officer for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, ensuring that all wings under his responsibility received religious support. He served a tour a the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operation at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

Like Rev. Fallah, Capt. Martinez has also worked as a hospital chaplain at Truman Medical Center. 

Pastoral Counseling or Life Coaching

Pastoral counselors or life coaches may serve individuals, families and groups facing a range of challenges. Those who pursue this ministry combine theological studies with training in mental health, counseling and/or coaching.

In addition to her experience as a hospital chaplain, Rev. Fallah offers relationship-based services through Venerate Care, an organization she founded. Her services include pre- and post-marital counseling, loss, grief and bereavement support, and spiritual care in the form of individual and/or family counseling.

Before earning her Master of Divinity (MDiv) from Saint Paul, Rev. Fallah graduated Magna Cum Laude from Park University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Psychology. She also completed five units of Clinical Pastoral Education. 

Additional Chaplaincy Settings and Ministry Jobs

Besides healthcare facilities and the military, there are many other settings where ministers may serve.

  • Other civilian chaplaincy settings include prison ministries and police departments, workplace ministries, children’s homes and retirement communities. 
  • Missionaries travel nationally or internationally to serve the vulnerable and the marginalized. They help to address a variety of issues including hunger, poverty, war, disease and the right to clean water and education. 
  • Ministers who lead rescue missions serve individuals and families in crisis, including those facing poverty and homelessness. This ministry facilitates access to emergency shelter, meals, clothing and social services. Ministries also encourage long-term goal attainment such as permanent housing, employment and medical care. 
  • Crisis relief ministries focus on short-term humanitarian emergencies such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Ministers travel to affected regions to coordinate volunteer activities and donation drives. They help to provide shelter, water, electricity, medical care and meet other pressing needs. 


Are you discerning a call to serve God’s people outside of the church walls? If so, we encourage you to prayerfully consider how best to use your talents to build healing relationships and promote spiritual wellness in our communities.

When you are ready to answer the call, contact the admissions office at Saint Paul to learn how our degree programs can prepare you for your ministry. 

You may reach out online or call us at 913-725-8289.

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