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!