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Home > France > Current debates > 2017 > Compulsory training for chaplains

Compulsory training for chaplains

3 May 2017

The decree No. 2017-756 of 3 May 2017 renders compulsory for newly recruited military, hospital and prison chaplains, who receive remuneration, to obtain a civil and civic training diploma within two years of their recruitment. This obligation is applicable overseas only if training to obtain this diploma can be followed there, including as distance learning.
These provisions concern initial contracts concluded as from 1 October 2017 and are relevant only to chaplains who receive public remuneration, since voluntary chaplains are not concerned.
A decree of 5 May 2017 lays down the terms and conditions for the approval of training courses, which will be entitled to issue the diploma. Institutions of higher education are invited to apply for the registration of their training courses with a minimum of 125 hours and comprising « at least the following three courses: (1) Institutions of the Republic and secularism; (2) Great principles of the law of religion; (3) Human and social sciences of religions. The teaching referred to in (1) and (2) shall be a minimum of 70 hours » (Article 1). No pre-qualification requirements may be demanded to enroll in these courses. Educational institutions must also provide for the methods of awarding the diploma by validating previous studies or acquired experience (Article 1). The registration of training courses approved by the Ministers of the Interior and Higher Education is valid for a period of five years (Article 2).
These new provisions seek to ensure that candidates to chaplaincy have a minimum knowledge base relating to the administrative and legal context in which they operate.

5 May 2017