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What is the Rural Chaplains Association?

            The primary goal of the Rural Chaplains Association is to promote connections among persons living and serving in rural areas and to provide training and learning experiences for leadership and personal development of Rural Chaplains. RCA was officially founded in 1991 in Louisville, KY when 40 Rural Chaplains were certified. Among the initial Chaplains certified there were 9 women, 7 lay persons, and 33 clergy. Chaplains came from 22 Annual Conferences across all 5 Jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church in the United States. Since that time, RCA has had Chaplains come from Canada, Mexico, Russia, Great Britain, Kenya, and Zambia among other countries.

The Rural Chaplains Association has worked to establish partnerships with the United Methodist Rural Advocates, United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network, the Rural Church Network, and the International Rural Church Association. We are interested in partnering with other groups that share similar goals and values.

How To Become A Rural Chaplain?

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Rural Chaplains Association, our application process includes:

  1. Recommendation from your local church and a judicatory leader
  2. Attendance at a Focus Event
  3. An interview with a committee composed of Rural Chaplains
  4. Approval by the Core Leadership Team
  5. Rural Chaplains are expected to attend at least one Focus event every three years, submit an annual report of their activities, and be current in their membership dues.
  6. Application for RCA

To learn more about the Rural Chaplains Association or for more information on our upcoming Focus Event, please contact:

 Dr. Judy Matheny, RCA Administrator, PO Box 55, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745

Excerpted from “Rural Chaplains Association” by Rev. Roger Grace