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U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024


This Staff Chaplain position is located at the VA Providence Healthcare System, Providence, RI. The position is part-time at 20-hours per week.

Learn more about this agency


  • Accepting applications
  • Open & closing dates

    07/01/2024 to 07/11/2024

  • Salary

    $67,743 - $106,549 per year

    This amount will prorate based on the number of hours worked.

  • Pay scale & grade

    GS 9 - 11

  • Help


    1 vacancy in the following location:

  • Remote job


  • Telework eligible


  • Travel Required

    Not required

  • Relocation expenses reimbursed


  • Appointment type


  • Work schedule

    Part-time - 20 Hours

  • Service


  • Promotion potential


  • Job family (Series)

    0060 Chaplain

  • Supervisory status


  • Security clearance


  • Drug test


  • Position sensitivity and risk

    Non-sensitive (NS)/Low Risk

  • Trust determination process



  • Announcement number


  • Control number



This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

Current permanent employees of the Veterans Health Administration including permanent Veterans Canteen Service employees, current permanent full-time/part-time Hybrid Title 38 and permanent full-time/part-time Title 38 employees. Past/Current/Upcoming Graduates of VHA Health Trainee Programs (HPT) are eligible to apply (must send proof such as an SF-50 with application).




The incumbent serves as a Chaplain professional for the Veterans Health Administration. The incumbent provides religious, spiritual, and pastoral care to all persons that are commensurate with the needs, desires, and voluntary consent of the Veteran, caregiver, or staff. The incumbent addresses the spiritual component of health and wellness in every patient care setting to ensure that pastoral care is fully integrated into all aspects of service.

Duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Serves as a Chaplain professional providing complete religious ministry services to Veteran patients according to their specific needs and desires.
  • Serves as a primary resource, spiritual advisor and point of contact for the spiritual needs of patients, caregivers, and staff.
  • Conducts religious services and worship, pastoral ministry, and administration of Chaplain services.
  • Engages as a spiritual leader, a compassionate listener and counselor, especially during times of crisis.
  • Provides emotional support and counseling using empathy and strong interpersonal skills to effectively connect with people of all ages.
  • Ensures assignments are carried out in a pluralistic environment, which encompasses sensitivity to the religious needs of many separate religious denominations and faith groups.
  • Leads and offers prayers and religious services for Veteran patients, patient families, staff, and community.
  • Conduct rituals in front of groups of people, which requires effective leadership and public speaking skills.
  • Uses leadership skills to lead prayer and religious services.
  • Addresses the religious, spiritual, moral, and ethical problems of patients and staff.
  • Provides counseling services to patients and staff.
  • Conducts regular rounds of hospital wards where patients are critically ill.
  • Ministers to newly admitted, pre- and post-operative patients, the critically ill, and the families of concerned veteran patients.
  • Provides advance care planning education, information, and counsel for patients and their families.
  • Serves as a fully recognized member of an integrated multi-professional treatment team.
  • Maintains liaison with physicians, medical officers, psychologists, nurses, therapists, social workers, or others involved to exchange information relative to the background and current condition of patients.
  • Supervises, trains and coaches volunteer groups who offer their services as assistants as needed.
  • Engages in group consultative discussions or conferences with these professionals to evaluate and review the patient's progress.
  • Collaborates with treatment team professionals to discuss the recommended course of action, and other informed advice to attain the necessary therapeutic goals for the patient.
  • Provides pastoral counseling on medical and ethical matters, including moral injury, problems of conscience, family or marital difficulties, justice or confinement matters, terminal diagnoses, or crisis.
  • Addresses fears that patients have when facing surgery and answers questions regarding the meaning of life when confronted with the reality of pain, illness, permanent disfigurement, crippling, or death.
  • Provides religious instruction for patients through various means, such as individual or group discussion, faith based classes, instructional classes, and tutoring for courses completed by correspondence.
  • Collaborates with healthcare teams to create and update treatment plans to address spiritual distress, grief, and loss as existential concerns to enhance holistic care.
  • Performs a variety of intervention methods, including individual and group intervention, to address the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families.
  • Provides crisis intervention and stabilization as required.
  • Provides support for individual(s) or unit emergencies, natural disasters, man-made disasters or planned special events.
  • Spends minimally 70% of time in patient care

Work Schedule: 20 hours per week, Friday - Tuesday, 10:00am - 2:00 pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Functional Statement #: F1856 (GS-09 Entry); F1857 (GS-11 Journeyman)
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Bargaining Status: This position is eligible for coverage by a Bargaining Unit, but is not currently represented.
Full Performance Level of this vacancy is GS-11. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-09 to GS-11.
Current and former Federal employees must submit copies of their most recent SF-50, (Notice of Personnel Action). The SF-50 must identify the position title, series, grade, step, tenure and type of service (Competitive or Excepted). In some cases, more than one SF-50 may be required to show a higher grade previously held.


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Must be proficient in written and spoken English.
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period.
  • Subject to background/security investigation.
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process.
  • Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP).
  • Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) - See "Additional Information" below for details.


BASIC REQUIREMENTS. To qualify for appointment as a chaplain, applicants meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement:

a. Citizenship. Citizen of the United States (U.S.)

b. Education. Applicants must possess a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent educational qualifications as evidenced by a graduate-level theological degree from a college, university or theological school accredited by a member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

NOTE: For applicants who do not possess a Master of Divinity degree or equivalent educational degree, an approved educational equivalency review from a nationally recognized board certification body for chaplains is acceptable.

c. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Applicants must have completed four units of CPE from a CPE center that is accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

d. Ecclesiastical Endorsement. In accordance with 38 C.F.R. 17.655, ecclesiastical endorsement is a condition of employment as a VA chaplain. An individual must possess and maintain a full and active ecclesiastical endorsement to be employed as a VA chaplain. Applicants must have an ecclesiastical endorsement, dated within the past 12 months. Ecclesiastical endorsements must be from the official national endorsing authority of the applicant's/employee's faith group or denomination. Ecclesiastical endorsement is a written official statement, by the official national endorsing body of the faith group or denomination, certifying that the applicant is in good standing with the applicant's faith group or denomination; and stating that the individual is, in the opinion of the endorsing body, qualified to perform the full range of ministry required in the VA pluralistic setting. Loss of endorsement will result in removal from the GS-0060 Chaplain series and may result in termination of employment. The National Chaplain Service maintains a list of approved endorsing organizations that can be found here: https://www.patientcare.va.gov/chaplain/Employment_Information_and_Resources.asp

e. Board Certification. Applicants must be a Board Certified Chaplain certified by the Board of Chaplaincy Certification Inc. (BCCI) or nationally recognized certification body that utilizes the BCCI Common Qualifications and Competencies for Professional Chaplaincy or a certifying organization that has a reciprocity agreement with BCCI.

Exception. Non-certified applicants who otherwise meet the eligibility requirements may begiven a temporary appointment under the authority of 38 U.S.C. 7405(c)(2) for a period not to exceed two years. This exception only applies at the entry level. For the journey level and above, the candidate must have board certification. At the time of appointment, the supervisor in collaboration with Human Resources, will provide the uncertified chaplain with the written requirements for obtaining certification, the date by which the certification must by acquired, and the consequences for not becoming certified by the deadline. The written notice must be provided prior to the entrance on duty date. Failure to become certified within two years from date of appointment will result in removal from the GS-0060 Chaplain series and may result in termination of employment. Temporary graduate chaplain appointments may not be extended beyond two years and may not be converted to a new temporary appointment in this occupation.

f. Loss of Endorsement or Certification. Chaplains must maintain ecclesiastical endorsement and board certification. Loss of endorsement or board certification will result in removal from the GS-0060 Chaplain occupation and may result in termination of employment.

g. English Language Proficiency. Chaplains must be proficient in spoken and written English to be appointed as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 7403(f).

GRADE REQUIREMENTS. In addition to the basic requirements for employment, the following criteria must be met when determining the grade of candidates:

Chaplain, GS-9 Grade Level:

(a) Experience. None beyond the basic requirements.

(b) Assignment. At the GS-9 entry level, chaplains serve in a career development position practicing under close supervision of a supervisor or qualified individual who reviews and ensures the employee meets competency requirements.

(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities. In addition to meeting the basic experience requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs:

i. Knowledge of spiritual assessments to identify patient strengths and needs and documenting services provided.
ii. Ability to use the information of the spiritual assessment to create care plans in all dimensions of pastoral care.
iii. Ability to provide crisis intervention and stabilization.
iv. Skill in healthcare team collaboration to create and update treatment plans to address spiritual issues.
v. Ability to ensure free exercise of religion for patients and staff.
vi. Knowledge of individual and group interventions to address spiritual and emotional needs of patients and families; providing referrals for continuity of spiritual care.
vii. Skill in the coordination of religious services respecting the faith tradition of individual patients.
viii. Ability to communicate verbally and in writing with persons of varied backgrounds.

Chaplain, GS-11 Full Performance Grade Level:

(a) Experience. At this level, the candidate must have one year of creditable experience equivalent to the GS-9 level that is directly related to the position to be filled.

(b) Assignment. At the GS-11 journey level, the chaplain independently serves as a primary resource and point of contact for the spiritual needs of patients, caregivers and staff. The chaplain provides advance care planning education, information, and counsel for patients and their families. The chaplain provides guidance and/or support for patients to express values through processes such as life review, oral history, and end of life preparation and documentation. The chaplain develops pastoral care programs that are measurable, outcome-driven, and evidence-based in coordination with the department guidelines. The chaplain provides pastoral counseling on medical and ethical matters, including but not limited to, moral injury, problems of conscience, family or marital difficulties, justice or confinement matters, terminal diagnoses, or crisis.

(c) Demonstrated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities. In addition to meeting the KSAs for the GS-9 grade level, the candidate must meet the experience above and demonstrate the following KSAs:

i. Knowledge of advance care planning to educate, inform, and counsel patients and families.
ii. Skill in guiding patients in verbalizing and expressing values through life review, oral history, and end of life preparation and documentation.
iii. Ability to develop pastoral care programs that are measurable, outcome-driven and evidenced based within the department guidelines.
iv. Skill in counseling on medical and ethical issues, terminal diagnoses or crises, moral injury, problems of conscience, family or marital difficulties and justice or confinement matters.
v. Ability to support the development of staff resiliency and develop programs for staff development and wellness by providing spiritual and emotional support.
vi. Ability to educate and equip healthcare staff and trainees screening for spiritual and religious needs of patients and the importance of appropriate referrals to chaplains for complex spiritual distress.
vii. Knowledge of community needs to coordinate with community organizations to provide comprehensive spiritual care, utilizing outside community resources to meet the religious needs of patients that cannot be met by chaplain staff.


IMPORTANT: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: https://sites.ed.gov/international/recognition-of-foreign-qualifications/.

Foreign Education. To be creditable, theological or related education completed outside the U.S. must be submitted to a current affiliate agency of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) listed at https://www.naces.org/members.

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. Selected applicants may qualify for credit toward annual leave accrual, based on prior work experience or military service experience. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply. The health-related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Pursuant to VHA Directive 1193.01, VHA health care personnel (HCP) are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 subject to such accommodations as required by law (i.e., medical, religious or pregnancy). VHA HCPs do not include remote workers who only infrequently enter VHA locations. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination before your start date. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required accommodation from this requirement using the reasonable accommodation process.

If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

References: VA Handbook 5005/135, Part II, Dated September 24, 2020, Appendix G67. Chaplain Qualification Standard

COVERAGE. Requirements for appointment as a chaplain in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The requirements apply to all VHA chaplains employed in the General Schedule (GS)-0060 series. Chaplains provide religious, spiritual, and pastoral care to all persons that is commensurate with the needs, desires, and voluntary consent of the Veteran or caregiver or staff. Chaplains interact with healthcare professionals from many different fields to address the spiritual component of health and wellness in every patient care setting to ensure that pastoral care is fully integrated into all aspects of care.

Health Professions Trainee (HPT) upcoming graduates pending the completion of educational or certification/licensure requirements may be referred and tentatively selected but may not be hired until all requirements are met. HPT includes interns, residents, fellows, VA advanced fellows, and pre- and post-doctoral fellows who spend all or part of their clinical training experiences at VA facilities. Health Professions Trainee is a general term used to describe individuals appointed to temporary positions in one or more VHA medical facilities performing clinical or research training experiences to satisfy program or degree requirements. HPTs can be either VA-paid or Without Compensation (WOC). Trainee academic levels include undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students, interns, residents, fellows, and VA advanced fellows; and pre- and post-doctoral fellows.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE MAY NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. Your application, resume, C.V., and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment.

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

The Department of Veterans Affairs performs pre-employment reference checks as an assessment method used in the hiring process to verify information provided by a candidate (e.g., on resume or during interview or hiring process); gain additional knowledge regarding a candidate's abilities; and assist a hiring manager with making a final selection for a position.

It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.


Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Clinical Pastoral Education (completed four units)
  • Ecclesiastical Endorsement (written official statement dated within the past 12 months)
  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to ensure you have included all documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), etc.

  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • Clinical Pastoral Education (completed four units)
  • Ecclesiastical Endorsement (written official statement dated within the past 12 months)
  • VA form 10-2850c
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.


How to Apply

All applicants are encouraged to apply online. To apply for this position, you must complete the full questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 07/11/2024 to receive consideration. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12461328.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.

To verify your application is complete, log into your USA JOBS account, https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login, select the Application Status link and then select the more information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process. To return to an incomplete application, log into your USA JOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USA JOBS account or your application will be incomplete.
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Agency contact information

Mark Throckmorton
VA Providence Healthcare System
830 Chalkstone Avenue
Providence, RI 02908
Learn more about this agency

Next steps

Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

NOTE: Participation in the seasonal influenza program is a condition of employment and a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). It is a requirement that all HCP to receive annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption to the influenza vaccination has been granted. HCP in violation of this directive may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service. HCP are individuals who, during the influenza season, work in VHA locations or who come into contact with VA patients or other HCP as part of their duties. VHA locations include, but are not limited to, VA hospitals and associated clinics, community living centers (CLCs), community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), domiciliary units, Vet centers and VA-leased medical facilities. HCP include all VA licensed and unlicensed, clinical and administrative, remote and onsite, paid and without compensation, full- and part-time employees, intermittent employees, fee basis employees, VA contractors, researchers, volunteers and health professions trainees (HPTs) who are expected to perform any or all of their work at these facilities. HPTs may be paid or unpaid and include residents, interns, fellows and students. HCP also includes VHA personnel providing home-based care to Veterans and drivers and other personnel whose duties put them in contact with patients outside VA medical facilities.

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