First Responders
The First Responder Chaplain Division of the Spiritual Care Association focuses on the spiritual dimension of professional first response practice including professional chaplains whose specialization is in this setting, community leaders serving as chaplains or spiritual care generalists for response teams, and all members of a first response team. The First Responder Chaplain Division supports the advancement of the spiritual care component of first response practice as an integral aspect of high-quality whole person care for all including the professional providing the care.


Our mission is to support best-practice first response spiritual care and self-care through education and resources for professionals and first response-related organizations.


  1. All first responders will have access to high quality, practical spiritual care information.
  2. Professional chaplains specializing in spiritual care as a component of whole-person care will be recognized for their expertise.
  3. Community leaders serving as chaplains or spiritual care generalists as part of a first response team will be provided training leading to a certificate recognizing their knowledge and skill.
  4. First response-related organizations will work in partnership with SCA to improve health outcomes and support the health of professional care providers.
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Why Join?

If you are a

  • Professional board certified or credentialed chaplain or chaplain candidate who wants a specialization certification in crisis, trauma, disaster first response;
  • A community leader providing spiritual care within a first response organization who wants a certificate demonstrating you knowledge and skill;
  • A member of a first response team interested in incorporating spiritual care into your practice;

The First Responder Chaplain Division of the Spiritual Care Association is perfect for you. Learn about the specialty practice of crisis, trauma, and first response and its spiritual care aspects of through resources, courses, and presentations from national and international experts. As you develop knowledge of spiritual care and strengthen your understanding of other faiths and cultures, you will also start to discover your inner self as you strengthen your personal spirituality. As a member of the First Responder Division of SCA, you will discover opportunities to find collegiality with chaplain colleagues and other first response professionals, work with a mentor or become a mentor to increase your confidence as a first response provider assisting emergency, crisis, trauma, and disaster organizations to integrate spiritual care into their services. Be a force in moving high-quality first response services forward and support the future of practice that improves outcomes by including steps to honor beliefs and aspects of faith that influence the care of persons and the work of the first response team. You have a voice!

Benefits of Membership Include:

  • Belong to a supportive professional community that welcomes both novice and seasoned first response chaplains and other team members
  • Access to current best-practice standards of spiritual care for those of all faiths and no faith preference. Be notified of new research publications related to spiritual care and the specialty practice of emergency, trauma, crisis, and disaster first response
  • Discounted price for online professional educational courses
  • Unlimited Spiritual Care Grand Round Videos
  • Discounted registration for the Caring for the Human Spirit® Conference
  • Free electronic subscription to the Journal of HealthCare Chaplaincy
  • Free Spiritual Care Tip of the Day emailed to you
  • Free newsletters
  • Membership directory and networking opportunities
  • Access to archived webinars and articles related to chaplaincy
  • Opportunities to present at the national level and/or publish an article or be featured in our first responder spotlight column
  • Expand your professional value by adding a chaplain or spiritual care certification to your portfolio
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First Responders

How to Join?

To become a member, click the “Join now” button below. Membership is $95 annually and it includes all the member benefits listed above. During the registration process, select the “Professional – First Responder Chaplain Membership” to be added to the First Responder Chaplain Division of SCA.

Click here to download our First Responder Chaplain Division brochure.



Chaplain Vernita Baldwin
Director of First Responder Chaplain Division

Earn Your Crisis, Trauma, and First Response Certificate

The Crisis, Trauma, and First Response Certificate Course for Chaplains provides the basic and fundamental skills and knowledge needed in order to provide chaplaincy spiritual care to those people who have been impacted by an emergency, crisis, trauma, or disaster. Upon completion of this online, self-guided course, you will earn the Crisis, Trauma, and First Response Certificate. Click here to learn more.

First Response Chaplaincy Training Manual

The First Response Chaplaincy Training manual is a great resource for those who provide spiritual care as members of a first response team. This comprehensive manual includes a range of teaching tools and learning activities to ensure that all learning styles are accommodated. It can be used with large or small groups to enhance the development of skills and the provision of first response spiritual care. Click here to learn more.


George Handzo

If you have questions or comments, please contact The Rev. George F. Handzo, APBCC, CSSBB at

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