Prayer Chaplain Overview

prayer chaplains

About Our Prayer Chaplain Ministry

What is a Prayer Chaplain?

A Prayer Chaplain is a lay person who functions as an extension of the pastoral ministry of the congregation.  A Prayer Chaplain is not a counselor or an ordained minister.  He or she is a congregation member who wants to serve and to grow spiritually.  Being a Prayer Chaplain is transformative soul work as it deepens one's spiritual path through prayer and service.  No prior experience in prayer or praying with others is required to serve as a Prayer Chaplain.

What Does a Prayer Chaplain do?

A Prayer Chaplain:

  • Is available to support others on their spiritual journey.
  • Creates and holds sacred space.
  • Lovingly listens and holds what is heard in the strictest of confidence, meaning that what is shared with the Prayer Chaplain is not discussed with anyone else, including the person who made the initial prayer request (ie listen, pray and release).
  • Prays with others.

Prayer chaplains serve during Sunday services several times a month, holding spiritual space and praying with congregants before and after services. They also make monthly wellness calls to congregants who request them.

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How do I become a Prayer Chaplain?

A Prayer Chaplain completes 24 hours of annual training and makes a commitment to serve his or her church community for one year (April to April). Prayer Chaplain training at Unity of Madison is typically held January thru March with meetings on-site and one weekend off-site at a retreat center.  Orientation sessions to the program are held in November and early January.  Please look for specific dates on the Events Calendar or contact Pat Arnold, Prayer Chaplain Coordinator at

Prayer Chaplain 2018 Program Training Schedule*:

Nov 04           Saturday Orientation Session; 1 - 2:30pm, Lower Level  - OR

Jan 06            Saturday Orientation Session; 1 - 2:30pm, Lower Level

Jan 19-21       Fri-Sunday Offsite Training Weekend @ Holy Wisdom; 5pm Fri - Noon Sunday

Feb 17            Saturday Training Session; 9:30am - 1pm, Lower Level

Mar 17            Saturday Training Session; 9:30am - 3pm, Lower Level

Apr 05            Thursday Dedication Ceremony to fellow Chaplains; 7 - 9pm, Sanctuary

Apr 08            Sunday Dedication Ceremony to Congregation; both services, Sanctuary


* Attendance at all sessions is mandatory for completion of training.