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Community Clergy Training
from the VA -
Pastoral care for rural
veterans and families.
Various locations/dates.


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September 8-10, 2017
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Resources are currently being assembled for this topic.
Check back often as new ideas and suggestions are added, or feel free to suggest resources by using the contact information below.


As a country, we have a responsibility to show gratitude and support to those who have served in our armed forces, by assisting them with their return to civilian life and making sure they have the healthcare, counseling, job opportunities, and other resources they need. However, not all communities have a conveniently located Veterans Administration facility, and many veterans face challenges in accessing the services they need.
Communities, including churches, can help.


The need is real: FAQs and statistics

Many communities have made great strides toward ending veteran homelessness, but still in 2016, over 39,000 veterans were estimated to be homeless on a given night. Homeless veterans are mostly male, disproportionately black, and often have a physical or mental disability.

PTSD is a very real problem among veterans, but it is also complex and difficult to define. Estimates of PTSD incidence among veterans vary as high as 31%, with up to half of those not receiving treatment.

Sources and additional information:

Veterans Administration Office of Public Affairs

Department of Housing and Urban Development - Estimate of Homeless Veterans

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

National Alliance to End Homelessness - This site lists federal programs serving homeless veterans and contains articles about risk factors to veterans, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Newsmax - Assorted feature articles with links to statistics

Veterans and PTSD website


What churches and individuals can do

  • Become knowledgeable about resources and services available through the VA and encourage individual veterans in your sphere of influence to use them. Look for gaps veterans might have in accessing services--transportation, accountability, technology, etc.--and work to address them.
  • Become familiar with the Chaplaincy department of U.S. Missions and other VA chaplains. Get acquainted with the chaplain(s) at VA facilities near you, and ask them how you or your church can serve.
  • Find out what is already being done by other organizations in your community to serve veterans and address issues such as homelessness and substance abuse. Attend any group meetings and see if there is a need you or your church can fill. Maybe a meeting space for a support group? Volunteer at a thrift shop? Serve disabled or elderly veterans by doing errands or lawn care?
  • Talk to veterans in your congregation or others you know personally. Are their needs for fellowship and camaraderie being met within your community? If not, consider starting a ministry at your church or partnering with other churches to do so.


Veterans Administration and government resources

Community Clergy Training from the VA - The Veterans Administration recognizes that in many communities, particularly rural ones, veterans are not easily able to access all VA services, and a trained local clergyman may make a lifesaving difference. Find an upcoming event or a nearby chaplain here.


Resources from Chaplaincy ministries and related ministries



Community organizations and ways to volunteer



Starting a veterans ministry or improving congregational care for veterans

The Military Chaplains Association is developing Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation certification materials. Contact them for more details or to sign up.

Stephen Ministries offers training in many aspects of congregational care. This article explains how involvement in Stephen Ministry helped a wounded veteran push through his challenges and become the first amputee to return to active command on the same battlefield.

From CruMilitary (formerly Campus Crusade Military Ministry) - "Church Guide for Ministering to the Military"







Contact Info

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Fax: 417-863-7276

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