Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Chaplain Training at Northern Division headquarters

Chaplain training molds ‘spiritual paramedics’

Added on Monday, May 7, 2018

The Salvation Army Northern Division last week hosted a chaplain training at its headquarters in Roseville, Minn., where dozens of men and women received 40 hours of instruction on how to comfort people in their greatest times of need. (Learn how The Salvation Army supports communities after a disaster.)

Chaplain hugs a disaster survivorChaplains are “spiritual paramedics” who offer a listening ear to first responders and survivors affected by traumatic situations such as disasters, deaths, and human trafficking. Chaplains also offer spiritual guidance to prisoners, military personnel, seniors in nursing homes, the terminally ill and their families, and others. 

The training was taught by the International Fellowship of Chaplains, which held a similar training at Salvation Army headquarters last year. 

“This partnership has been great for networking and for showcasing all the wonderful things The Salvation Army is doing,” said John Hulteen, lead prison chaplain for The Salvation Army Northern Division. 

Hulteen and other Salvation Army chaplains regularly visit with and minister to inmates at prisons across Minnesota and North Dakota. The Salvation Army also uses chaplains to comfort disaster survivors; people experiencing homelessness at the Harbor Light Center in Minneapolis; men battling addiction at the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center in Minneapolis; and others. 

The training covered a wide range of topics, such as:

  • PTSD stages and recovery
  • Death notifications
  • Human and sex trafficking
  • Understanding first responders
  • Depression and suicide 
  • Trauma, grief and loss

Those who completed the training received credentials from the International Fellowship of Chaplains.  

“After last year’s training, The Salvation Army enrolled three new volunteer chaplains – we’re hoping for more after this second training,” Hulteen said.

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