Chaplains in the U.S. Justice Department serve in federal correctional institutions around the country. These are large, multi-disciplinary federal prisons serving the range of correctional requirements with diverse inmates and staff. Just as Jesus (Matthew 25) urges us to visit those in prison, chaplains answer the call of God bringing the light and presence of Jesus Christ.
ELCA pastors serve as chaplains in these correctional institutions providing a word and sacrament ministry to those who otherwise may not experience the presence and support of a faith community and its witness of the good news of Jesus Christ. Because of the setting and the needs of the inmates and staff, chaplains representing the ELCA are ordained clergy.
Qualified applicants for Bureau of Prisons chaplaincy have prior, full-time pastoral experience and clinical pastoral education as specified in the job announcement. Positions for Bureau of Prisons chaplains are posted on the USAJobs.gov Web site, and any ELCA pastor seeking a Bureau of Prisons chaplain position must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement in advance of applying. For information about endorsement for federal Bureau of Prisons ministry and about the work of ELCA chaplains serving in these special settings, contact the Bureau for Federal Chaplaincies at 202-417-3693 or email.