US Conference of Chaplains

The purpose of the US Conference of Chaplains Fellow (USCoCF) award is to recognize significant and extraordinary contributions to the practice of chaplaincy, and/or to the programs of the US Conference of Chaplains (hereinafter referred to as "The Conference" or the USCoC) . Designation as a Fellow is the highest honor USCoC bestows.  Conference Fellows are an accomplished group of Chaplains whose frequent and sustained contributions to our discipline have promoted the goals and activities of  The Conference, the individual’s Christian denomination, and brought other complimentary organizations’ work to the awareness of our Conference.  Fellowship is intended to promote excellence and leadership both within and without USCoC by recognizing high standards and extraordinary vocational contributions.  A nominee does not necessarily need to be a member of The Conference then, at the beginning of the process.  The nominator must post an amount equal to the nominee’s first year dues (only $39) simultaneous with the submission of a nomination package in order for the nominee to be considered.  This mechanism accomplishes two things.  1) It helps defray the costs of administering the program, at least insofar as the application and selection process is concerned.  2) Someone who may be selected for Fellow status must be a member simultaneous to the issuing of the Fellowship.  The paying of the first year’s dues helps to facilitate this requirement seamlessly, and without prematurely divulging the consideration or ultimate award to the nominee.  The submission fee will not be waived nor refunded in any instance, whether or not the nominee ultimately receives an award.   A selected Fellow receives a framed certificate to be presented at a suitable ceremony, ideally our annual National Convocation.  Our Fellows are listed on the uscoc.org website, together with a summary of their accomplishments.  They may use the USCoCF post-nominal designation after their names.


Criteria
The following qualities are required as a minimum.
• Persons with suitable academic and/or professional qualification; and/or
• Persons with exceptional experience in Chaplaincy related activities; and/or
• Persons with pre-eminence in a specialized field of labor; and/or
•Persons with exemplary service to the US Conference of Chaplains


Individuals do not need to meet all four criteria to be awarded Fellowship, but they should ordinarily meet at least three.

US CONFERENCE OF CHAPLAINS FELLOWS    ~    FELLOWSHIP (FELLLOW DESIGNATION) AWARD

CRITERIA, ELIGIBILITY & PROCESS 

Fellows might be asked to serve as advisors for one of the USCoC’s strategic initiatives or to contribute an article on a favorite topic or chosen specialized field of labor in Chaplaincy.  Fellows may even be asked to help revise or make an addition to the "Chaplain's Compendium." 


These opportunities enable Fellows to maintain a high profile within The Conference, serving as an example and encouraging others to aspire to this important professional recognition.  Fellows may be called upon to share their opinions, knowledge and experience, serving at the request of the Board of Directors on special projects of significance to The Conference.

The number of Fellowships awarded in any one year should be kept to a minimum to preserve the award’s exclusivity and gravitas.  Awards are to be made on an as deserved, rolling basis.  However, the Board of Directors is not obliged to make such an award on an annual or any other basis of frequency.

Process
The award of Fellowships is delegated for consideration to the Board of Directors which makes the final decision.

Initial Nominations.
Potential recipients may be suggested by any USCoC member.  Note that nominations will only be accepted for consideration on a ‘blind’ basis (meaning “blind” as far as the individual nominated is concerned). This is to prevent a candidate having knowledge of their nomination and any embarrassment should their nomination fail to progress.  No one should propose themselves for nomination. 


Application.
A nominator prepares a nomination package to be submitted anytime year round that should include the following:
- A cover page with the nominee’s name, contact information, and suggested award date (year);

- Three (3) letters of reference.  One from a USCoC Chaplain, one personal reference, and one from a respected member of the community the nominee lives in.  This last could be from a member of the clergy, ranking staff member of a local charity or NGO, a local public agency official such as a city manager, police or fire chief or elected representative, head of a fraternal or civic club, military reserve unit commander, etc.

- A one-page or shorter biographical statement about the nominee, to illustrate background, context of contributions, and the time span of the contributions should be at the start of the package. 

In addition candidates need to exhibit the highest ethical standards and should have made, or are anticipated to make, a substantial contribution to the work of the US Conference of Chaplains and/or the chaplaincy culture.  


The one time cost associated with the issuance of the award to the Fellow is $195.  This fee is not paid until both the nominator and nominee have been informed of the Board’s favorable decision with regards to the upcoming honor.

Eligibility
The award is open to both members and non members alike who have made an extraordinary contribution to chaplaincy.  The Board of Directors of the US Conference of Chaplains establishes and publicizes the nomination process, screens nominations and approves Fellow awards.  The Board considers long-term achievements, special projects having extraordinary effect, and collaborative efforts. The creativity, impact, and superb nature of a Conference Fellow candidate are of a magnitude that greatly exceeds the normal accomplishments of a typically productive team member or leader.

Fellows are members and retain Fellowship for life, provided they remain (or become and remain) a member of the US Conference of Chaplains. They are subject to the usual rules of membership, i.e. if they commit a serious crime or other disciplinary offense then they will be subject to the normal disciplinary procedures and are subject to the sanctions permitted such as suspension or expulsion.  Ceasing to be a member acts automatically to cancel the Fellowship. Fellows may resign from The Conference at any time on thirty (30) days notice.  On termination of the Fellowship, the (now) former Fellow must return the certificate conferring on him or her, the Fellowship.  Annual dues will continue to be assessed, and all reasonable efforts made to collect, until such time as the certificate is surrendered. 

USCoC Fellows are encouraged to continue their contributions by providing services that are appropriate for members of their stature.  These are voluntary in nature and generally consist of opportunities to serve as ambassadors to other organizations, introduce (or become) guest speakers at conferences and serving as hosts and points of contact for guests, invitees and speakers at Conference events. 
 


This ideally outlines the nature and scope of the nominee’s roles, responsibilities, and performances on behalf of chaplaincy and/or The Conference.  


Examples of the nominee’s contributing actions, the resulting benefits, and the beneficiaries must be cited.  These need not be voluminous, but should include several examples that are the most notable of the candidate’s efforts. Each example should include the following: Description: Provide a brief overview of the example, its purpose and context. Highlight any activities that best illustrate the candidate’s challenges and contribution to the example.  Benefit: How did this example support chaplaincy objectives?  Who did the activities benefit, and what was the benefit?  What were the benefits for USCoC program recipients or the community?  

- Personal Story: If relevant, is there a personal story about the nominee, and what he or she did that had impact?

The nomination package should be prepared in the following manner:

- The completed nomination package should not exceed 5 pages (including all materials, exclusive of the transmittal letter).

- A type size no smaller than an 11-point font.

- A standard font similar to Times New Roman.

- Nomination packages should be submitted in both hard copy and electronic format: Microsoft Word or equivalent, or Adobe Acrobat PDF files to chairman@uscoc.org.  Printed package to USCoC, PO Box 290007, Phelan, CA, 92329-0007.

- The nomination package should be submitted, under a transmittal letter, to the USCoC Chief Chaplain and Chairman of the Board of Directors. The actual Fellow Award is presented to successful nominees at a US Conference of Chaplains event (most preferably the National Convocation to be held each July) or shipped to the awardee when such presentation is not practical; the notice is broadcast in press releases, and posted on the uscoc.org website. 


​- Please allow up to eight (8) weeks for completion of the process from submission to decision.  Packages will not be returned.  Incomplete packages will not be processed or considered.


Thanks and blessings.