Executive Committee Positions Available

The NCCA Executive Committee met on Monday, June 12, to debrief the Spring Conference, plan for upcoming meetings, and address other business before the Association.  In reviewing Executive Committee Rotations, the Committee noted the following leadership opportunities:

Secretary (immediate opening Fall 2017): The Secretary records minutes of all Executive Committee meetings, as well as membership business meetings; distributes minutes and coordinates maintenance of approved minutes, reports, and handouts for archives; and makes approved changes to By-Laws and Constitution.  This position is elected to a two-year term.

Vice President (opening in Spring 2018): The Vice President serves as chair in president’s absence, and provides support and assistance to president and other members of the Executive Committee. This position will rotate to the duties of President in 2020-2022 and remain with the group as Past President in 2023.

Education Co-Chair (opening in Spring 2018): The Education Committee Co-Chair coordinates planning and implementation of Fall Education Day and Spring Conference. Responsibilities include determining topics, location, speakers, and schedule; coordinating CEU certificates; and assisting with contracts, logistics, and flow of conferences. The Education Co-Chairs are appointed strategically for a three-year term, to allow overlap of co-chair functioning.

Advocacy Chair (opening in Spring 2018): The Advocacy Chair educates institutions on the merits of utilizing and maintaining employment of professional chaplains, advocates for support of chaplains who are already hired, and provides support for individual members. Advocacy Chair is appointed to a three year position.

Committee Members are also needed for Education, Advocacy, Publicity/Marketing, and Finance.

Please consider how any of these opportunities would help broaden your experience as a chaplain. It is a chance to make a difference and be on the cutting edge in our profession. Some expenses (i.e., mileage) are paid for Executive Committee members to attend 3-4 meetings a year, if they are not reimbursed by their employer.

Notify Cynthia Vaughan by email at cynthia.vaughan@nhrmc.org as soon as possible if you are interested in any of these opportunities or if you would like to nominate a colleague. She will forward the names to Greg McClain, chair of the Nominations Committee, who will follow-up with you.


Category: Education, Newsletters · Tags:

Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplaincy Updated

Attention all chaplains potentially seeking certification from APC, AAPC, CASC, NAJC, or NACC:

The Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplains, first agreed upon by the above organizations in 2004, have been updated, altered, and now include two additional criteria for 2017 applicants. Any applicant for certification who submits material after April 1, 2017, must utilize the updated competency list, including the two new competencies that address research and group leadership.

If you have specific questions, please contact Miriam Dakin, Area Certification Chair for North Carolina and Virginia. Miriam is manager of Centra Health in Lynchburg, VA. Contact her at miriam.dakin@centrahealth.com.

All the best to all our NC chaplains who are pursuing certification!

Click here to review the updated Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplains (formerly Common Standards for Professional Chaplains).

Or watch the presentation below for more clarification and explanation of the 2017 Common Qualifications and Competencies.



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Leadership Spotlight: Up Close and Personal with Past President Beth Jackson-Jordan

Rev. Beth Jackson-Jordan

Beth Jackson-Jordan

Director of Spiritual Care and Education

Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast

Concord, NC



Educational History

BS in music education at William Jewell College in Missouri; MDiv at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY; ACPE Supervisory training at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC and Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD; Doctor of Educational Leadership at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Connection with NCCA

I’ve been a member of NCCA for at least 10 years, though I have attended meetings since 2000. My current role is past president.

Professional Uniqueness and Passion

Our chaplain residency program includes introduction to Integrative skills as a part of the curriculum, so all are familiar with and some become proficient in using modalities including aromatherapy, guided imagery, hand massage, rituals and mindfulness as a part of their chaplain practice. We now incorporate integrative modalities into a lot of what we do with staff as well as patients and families.

I am passionate about hearing people’s stories and being a part of helping them make meaning of whatever they are going through. I find chaplaincy allows me to experience people at a “fork in the road” moment in which they are in some way making new meaning or finding new ways to understand how the Holy is present in their lives.


Family for me consists of my spouse and three children, as well as an assortment of friends now spread all over the country and world who became ‘family’ to us at different stages of life. One is my college roommate who is now a chaplain in New Mexico; another is a faculty member at Perkins Divinity School in Dallas; another is a chaplain here in Charlotte. They are the people who know me, love me and accept me just the way I am, and I try to do the same for them.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you as a chaplain?

The best thing is something I have experienced more than once – it is when I encounter someone I have known and worked with in CPE who tells me how what they learned in CPE has made a difference in their life and in their ministry. Especially when they feel their time in CPE helped them discover their calling and they have found meaning in their ministry. Not too long ago I ran into a priest who had done CPE with me in the early 90’s in Washington, DC. Now he’s a local parish priest near Charlotte and still talks about how he has used what he learned in CPE about accepting himself and being present to people going through suffering.

Recent Embarrassment

Just the other day I had unknowingly come out of the restroom with my skirt tucked into my pantyhose. A local clergy person was the first to see me, and had to try to let me know so I wouldn’t walk through the hospital like that! I don’t know if it was the worst thing ever, but it was sure the most embarrassing and funny thing to happen in a long time.

Poignant Memory

In my first chaplaincy job in a long term care facility, a resident who had initially kept her distance from me came up and grabbed my hand and said, ‘You are the most Unitarian Baptist I’ve ever met!’ She went on to explain that when she heard a Baptist chaplain had been hired, she thought I would be rigid and judgmental, but she had come to experience me as accepting and loving. She blessed and ‘ordained’ me as a chaplain that day and I’ve always remembered her.

Sustenance during the low times

  • My wonderful staff assistant who never seems to have a bad day
  • My family
  • My meditation walks through the nature trails around my house

Community of Faith

My denominational affiliation is the Alliance of Baptists. I have done different things in my churches over the years—taught, sung in the choir, helped with English as a second language classes, trained groups to do pastoral care visits, been a youth chaperone.

Rejuvenation and Renewal

I love to travel, read, garden, play piano, play tennis, and cook.

Gutsy Move

Not too long ago, I wrote a letter to the editor disagreeing with the pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte regarding his stance against gay marriage. It was published, and I got letters from those who agreed and a lot from those who disagreed and questioned how a minster could take such a stance.


Category: Education, Newsletters · Tags:

Chaplains Balance Heavy Topic and Light Moments at NCCA Conference

Blowing Rock, NC—About 50 chaplains and guests attended the North Carolina Chaplains’ Association Spring Conference April 25-27 at the Blowing Rock Conference Center in Blowing Rock, NC. The conference featured Rev. Dr. Vergel Lattimore III as its keynote speaker. The two days also included time for conducting NCCA business, enjoying fellowship events, discussing clinical case studies, attending a recognition banquet, practicing laughter yoga, and receiving a Blessing of the Hands for chaplains.

Cynthia Vaughan, CPE supervisor at New Hanover Regional Medical Center and current president for NCCA, welcomed chaplains to the NC Chaplains Association spring conference and introduced other members of the executive committee, all of whom played a role in assuring the meeting went smoothly.

Featured speaker Vergel Lattimore, president of Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC, is a published poet, an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the first African American to attain the rank of Brigadier General in the US Air Force and the Air National Guard. He led the chaplains through three sessions that focused on cultural sensitivity, radical empathy, and practicing peace in professional and personal relationships. Interspersing lecture with video clips, literary readings, and small group conversations, Lattimore challenged the group to recognize issues of race, discrimination, and white privilege among the gathered group and in their workplaces.

Lattimore read a passage from the autobiography of influential theologian Howard Thurman, showing the power of reframing events and empowering others to become their best selves and to rise above racism. Traveling through the South in the 1950’s, Thurman and his family stopped to rest for a few moments at a park near the highway. His daughters spotted a swing set on a playground in the park and couldn’t read the sign that warned that the playground was “for whites only by state law.” Thurman sat his little girls down and said this to them: ‘Listen to me, all of you, you are somebody. Every one of you beautiful girls is a somebody. In fact, you are so important and so valuable to God, and so powerful too, that it takes the governor of Louisiana, the lieutenant governor, and the whole state police force to keep you little girls off those swings.”

In Lattimore’s final session, he shared positive means for both white chaplains and chaplains of color to address racial conflict and to take steps toward change. For example, white people need to acknowledge their whiteness, their white privilege, and take notice of present day racism. They need to listen to people of color, educate themselves, broaden their experiences, and take action: “Consider racism your problem to solve,” Lattimore encouraged. “Confront ignorance and inappropriate behavior; help others to learn, not just react; be a visible person in the fight against racism.”  Alternatively, people of color need to love themselves, embrace positive self-images, challenge perceptions and language; educate themselves, build ties, and “Take care” of themselves: “Accept white allies; keep a positive attitude; walk away when you are too tired or too angry,” Lattimore cautioned.

As a counterpoint to the serious subject matter, chaplains also took time to play and laugh together. Those arriving on Wednesday evening were treated to a feast of desserts provided by chaplain Walt Windley. The spread included seven cakes and a variety of homemade cookies and breads. While they ate, chaplains got acquainted or reacquainted and played games or enjoyed conversation together. Maria Teresa Jones even taught Barry Morris the Merengue dance.

On Friday morning, Johnston Health chaplain and yoga instructor Saundra Casey led chaplains through a session of Laughter Yoga. The session included information about the proven health benefits of laughter, and instructions about creating and sustaining laughter in order to shift mood, increase life balance, strengthen the immune system, decrease pain, and lower stress. Then the group participated in several exercises of laughter yoga. Casey commented that the group was a bit more inhibited than others she had worked with, so chaplains may need to think about incorporating this practice on a regular basis.

Two retiring chaplains and others achieving recognition were honored at the Thursday evening banquet. Retired chaplain Robert Randolph served as the clinical chaplain at the NC Dept of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Dewey Smith, chaplain at Hospice of the Charlotte Region, is preparing to retire next year. Smith also currently chairs the education committee of the NCCA. Both of these chaplains shared wisdom and encouragement from their years of ministry. NCCA presented them with framed certificates thanking them for their service and involvement with NCCA.

Other chaplains also were acknowledged for reaching milestones or receiving awards. Kathy Turner and Jon Speed, both of whom work for Carolinas Healthcare System, successfully met with their certification committees in March and are awaiting official board certification from the Association of Professional Chaplains. Jane Mitchell, Hospice and Palliative Care of the Charlotte region, received her palliative care certification from APC. Shay Greene of UNC Hospitals received the emerging leader award from Mid-Atlantic ACPE. First-time attendees to an NCCA event included Beth Woodard of Trinity Elms; Maria Teresa Jones of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center; Bob Riley of Carteret Healthcare; Molly Garnett of Carolinas Healthcare System; and Sara Smith, also of Wake Forest Baptist.

All NC chaplains are encouraged to mark calendars now for the fall meeting of the NCCA, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 11, at Caraway Conference Center. The North Carolina Chaplains’ Association is dedicated to providing education, fellowship and advocacy for professional chaplains of all faiths in North Carolina. Membership is open to chaplains in any industry, as well as to students interested in chaplaincy. For more information, contact the association at www.ncchaplains.com or admincoordinator@ncchaplains.com.

To see pictures of all the learning and fun, click here.


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Advocacy in Action

NCCA Expo Booth

On February 28, NCCA was at the North Carolina Healthcare Facilities Association Expo in Greensboro encouraging long-term care administrators and employees to utilize professional chaplains in their facilities.  If you have questions about how NCCA can advocate for chaplain services in your area, contact Advocacy Chairperson Saundra Casey.

(pictured L-R: Chaplains Thomas Barnsdale, Jeanell Cox and Saundra Casey)

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