What’s the Difference Between a Pastor and a Chaplain?

March 28, 2022  |   tagChaplaincy

difference between a chaplain and a pastorMany people assume that pastors and chaplains are the same things. If you’ve found yourself wondering, ‘what does a chaplain do,’ then you could believe that it’s the same as a pastor’s duties.

But this isn’t the case. According to the pastor’s definition, alongside that of a chaplain, there are multiple differences between them. Many people might be surprised to hear that.

If you’re considering a career in either, or if you simply need the assistance of one of them, then you’ll need to know what these are. What’s the difference between a pastor and a chaplain?

There are more than a few key differences. Knowing what does a pastor do, alongside highlighting the chaplain definition, could be helpful.

What’s Makes a Pastor and a Chaplain Different: What Each One Does

What Does A Pastor Do for People?

The pastor definition states that they’re a minister that oversees a Christian congregation. They are typically seen as having to be involved in a church. As you’d expect, a pastor will focus solely on Christianity.

But, what does a pastor do? One of their main duties is to preach sermons to the congregation. This takes place in a group setting rather than the pastor having one-on-one sessions with members of their church.

While many of these can be seen in Christianity, it’s not the only religion to have pastors or pastor-like clergymen. Rabbis can be found in synagogues, for example. As you’d expect, however, they’d focus solely on preaching their specific religion.

What’s the dissimilarity between a pastor and a chaplain? In many cases, they can be seen as opposites, despite the many similarities.

What Does A Chaplain Do for People?

If you’ve found yourself wondering, ‘what does a chaplain do,’ then you could be surprised by the answer. The chaplain definition states that they’re a clergyman attached to a private institution.

They can also be attached to a chapel or other group. In these instances, however, it can be the institution that they’re involved with.

With these groups, they’ll typically perform a range of duties. Crisis intervention is one of the most notable. You can also find them working within organizations or medium to large corporations supporting their employees. Another popular place would be in a hospital, for example, they’ll work with families who have a dying or recently-deceased family member.

Counseling will be a significant aspect of this. A chaplain will usually have specific training in this.

Coupled with this, a chaplain will work with members of all religions and backgrounds. A pastor, on the other hand, solely focuses on one religion.

Wrapping Up

What separates a pastor and a chaplain? As it turns out, there are more differences than many people may be aware of.

While there may be some similarities between them, that doesn’t mean that they offer the same services or help. Knowing what the key differences are will help you determine who you should speak with.

Alternatively, you could want a career in one of these fields. If that’s the case, you’ll need to be as informed as possible about it. Knowing the pastor’s definition and chaplain’s definition is a great start.

If you would like to know more about how our chaplain services, please contact us today at 1-800-775-7657.