Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organizations
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its medical regulations by establishing in regulation the eligibility requirements that ecclesiastical endorsing organizations must meet in order to provide ecclesiastical endorsements of individuals seeking employment as VA chaplains or of individuals who are seeking to be engaged by VA under contract or appointed as on-facility fee basis VA chaplains under 38 U.S.C. 7405. VA considers the veterans' spiritual care an integral part of the veterans' overall health care. As such, VA is committed to providing qualified VA chaplains to address the veterans' spiritual needs by engaging chaplains that are ecclesiastically endorsed. Ecclesiastical endorsement would certify that the individual is qualified to perform all the religious sacraments, rites, rituals, ceremonies and ordinances needed by members of a particular faith.