NACM Courses

Hi Everybody

I wanted to take a minute and put in a plug for two NACM courses that I have successfully completed. They are the Basic Chaplaincy Course and Soul Care 101: Ministering to Un-Saintly Saints. I am an undergraduate student at Marshall University, where I will complete a regents bachelor of arts in psychology this December. I plan to apply to the MSW program at Marshall upon graduation. I am also a peer support specialist/peer recovery coach. I spent 37 years in active addiction and suffer from the comorbidity of bi-polar disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was homeless for nearly a year and these things, along with my education qualify me to do peer support. I also hold a specialized associate degree in Dependency Disorder Technology, so basically I am a mental health tech.

I recommend Soul Care 101 and the Basic Chaplaincy Course because they are intensive courses that teach in lay terms many of the skills I have picked up in college. Active listening is an integral part of any ministry. While I know this forum deals with one particular thing, the skills taught by these courses are necessary tools for any tool kit dealing with people. The courses primarily teach empathy and active listening. I was surprised that the course was reminding me of little secrets that I had either forgotten or fallen out of the habit of using. Whether we want to admit it or not, active listening is the core of any ministry. As humans we want to speak first and speak often, but this is not what our people need. They need us to really hear what they are saying. These two courses teach us the basics of how to actively listen.  Sometimes my biggest problem in dealing with others is getting myself out of the way and allowing the client’s spoken and unspoken words to sink into my brain. Many times the client needs nothing more than to feel like they were actually heard. This applies to all ministries, whether they are dealing with addiction or a pastoral ministry from a pulpit. Active listening is hard work as you know full well. Soul Care 101 and Basic Chaplaincy teach this much needed skill. Yes, the courses apply to specific situations but the principles are universal. I highly recommend these courses. Even if you have no interest in a chaplaincy ministry or feel you are not called to chaplaincy, you still benefit from these courses. The Basic Chaplaincy course teaches a lot about grief. One thing is certain. As people or professionals dealing with humans, we run into all types of grieving people! Grief is one of the most common emotions known to man. Anybody in ministry benefits from a course that teaches a little about this subject. I strongly recommend Basic Chaplaincy.

Soul Care 101 also deals with  a subject familiar to those dealing with people. It teaches us skills in dealing with fallen human beings. In this case the human beings are saints who are acting in ungodly ways. I know we all deal with that! So drop by and check out these two outstanding courses. If you are a mental health professional they will make a good refresher course. If you are not a professional they will help you understand some basic skills. They are not certification material and I do not want to imply that they are. The Basic Chaplaincy course does qualify you to become a NACM chaplain, I believe. The courses do have some investments involved. Along with a fee for taking the course, which is often reduced, there is the cost for materials. It was one of the best investments I ever made though! Check them out!

Marvin Schrebe, Elder WV (12)

I will be 59 on June 9, 2020. I was born on Friday June 9, 1961 in Parkersburg WV. I was first introduced to the Lord Jesus Christ as a child. My mom and dad were as I understand, devoutly pious Christians and my dad was the praise and worship leader at his church. Then he was arrested and charged with a crime that he did not commit. Like a lot of poor people he could not afford a good defense attorney and did four years in prison. This turned both my mother and he bitter against Jesus and we did not go back for a long time. I was reintroduced to the church at age nine when we attended a revival. I was "saved" and then quickly fell away, not really understanding what I was doing and receiving no instruction. I found my way back to Jesus when I was eighteen, and this time I did receive a lot of instruction from a minister who saw potential in me. I was convinced from that time that Holy Spirit was calling me to do something special in the kingdom. I studied everything I could lay my hands on, particularly correspondence courses and walked with the Lord for a good while. Then the cares of the world overwhelmed me and I fell away again. This time I fell into drugs. I drank and used the non-prescription drug diphenhydramine and marijuana for years along with a lot of alcohol. I was always careful not to mix substances, which may have helped Jesus keep me alive.

I was married and divorced throughout that period, then remarried. I began attending another church, where I was baptized and studied under the tutelage of another minister. Again I absorbed the word like a sponge. I became well versed in that denomination's doctrine and wrote and published a few tracts for them. Again I did not apply God's word and misunderstood a lot of it. I fell away again. This time I used drugs for nearly ten years, during which time I was a psychology major at a Bible college. The electives I took were all religion/Bible electives as required by the college. One elective I took was Philosophy 101. The instructor wanted us to develop a worldview based on a logical argument and write a paper defending our position. I chose to show logically how the universe and life could exist without being created. Thus I chose to disprove God. I was good at it and convinced myself for a while. Then in 2009 I got clean with the help of a 12 step program that reintroduced me to the concept of God. I set out to prove that one of the major religions was right and all others false. I studied many disciplines and archaeology and history convinced me that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead. I joined a church and soon felt the call from Holy Spirit again. This time I did not run. I became ordained through NACM and then became the chaplain of the West Virginia Veterans Home after my second wife died in 2014.

Shortly after becoming chaplain of the WVVH I became a soldier in the Salvation Army Huntington Corps. I asked my commander there what ministry I could become involved in. She suggested that I accept a commission or bonding from the Maryland/West Virginia Division, and become a local officer, in this case the Community Care Ministries Secretary, Adult Sunday School Teacher, and Men's Club Treasurer. I was already unofficially filling these positions by being a soldier and chaplain of the WVVH. I accepted her offer and was bonded by the division commander during the 2019 holiday season.

Holy Spirit made it clear to me that the reason He had not used me from the time I was saved at eighteen was because I was too immature as a Christian. I would have made a mess of things. He wants us all to serve Him but He has to shape us first. He trained me under many good pastors throughout those years and I had to do the growing. He would not use me until He felt I was mature enough to use. That happened when I surrendered and began trying to always "Do unto others the things I would have them do unto me."

Today I serve in active ministry here at the WVVH and will soon be starting graduate school at Regent University in the Master of Divinity program, chaplain's concentration. College starts May 11, 2020. I will graduate in May 2023 if Holy Spirit is willing.

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