This position is funded by a contract from The Department of Homeland Security.
The Religious Services Coordinator/Chaplain must be fluent in both English and Spanish and have 2 units of Clinical Pastoral Education or the equivalency in counseling. The Coordinator provides spiritual and pastoral care to all detainees and also facilitates their opportunity to pursue their individual religious beliefs and practices in accordance with current law, federal regulations, and the DHS Detention Standards. The Religious Services Coordinator provides religious worship, education, counseling, spiritual direction, support and crisis intervention to accommodate the diverse religious and spiritual needs of all detainees. In addition, the Religious Services Coordinator is the facility’s subject matter expert concerning religious practices. The Religious Services Coordinator’s role is to be a non-judgmental caring influence in the lives of all individuals, a visible model of respect and caring for each person in spiritual need. Presence is the vital aspect of the Religious Services Coordinator's ministry throughout the facility.
Responsibility and Authority:
This position is located at the Port Isabel Service Processing Center (Los Fresnos, TX). The Office of the Religious Services Coordinator operates under the general direction of the Officer in Charge (OIC) in direct conjunction with the Chief Detention Enforcement Officer (CDEO) and supporting staff. The Religious Services Coordinator is responsible for formulating, establishing, implementing, and improving upon a multifaceted religious service program designed to serve a diverse religious, cultural, educational, and social population. The Religious Services Coordinator has supervisory responsibilities with the Religious Services Specialist and the Administrative Assistant on site. The Religious Services Coordinator plans, directs, and supervises all aspects of the religious program and oversees the general running of the facility's religious service programs. The Religious Services Coordinator coordinates the provision of religious and spiritual services by the clergy and other religious services provider’s of all faiths from the outside local community. This includes the observance of Holy Days by faiths without local clergy.
The basic mission of the Religious Services Coordinator can be summed up in the following four core functions, each with its attendant areas of responsibility.
a) Pastoral care giving
The Religious Services Coordinator demonstrates pastoral care skills with sensitivity, approachability, and availability to both detainees and staff. Among the duties and responsibilities:
1. Providing individual spiritual and personal counseling.
2. Assisting in emergency notifications.
3. Helping to bring resolution to crisis situations involving detainees, staff, or their families.
4. Being visible in all areas of the institution including Special Housing Units.
5. Responding to identified needs of detainees.
6. Being an advocate for the religious rights of detainees.
7. Collaborating with the Public Health Service (PHS) in a holistic response to detainees.
8. Administering all requests for Religious Diets.
b) Religious Leadership
The Religious Services Coordinator ensures impartial religious leadership to meet the diverse needs of different faith groups. Among the duties and responsibilities:
1. Regular and personal leadership at worship and prayer gatherings of his or her own faith tradition.
2. Establishes working relationships with local clergy and coordinates their contribution to the facility's religious program. Also, provides assistance to such clergy in the understanding of detainee related problems.
3. Supervising all religious services and meetings.
4. Overseeing the fair and equitable management of all resources.
5. Insuring the security of the necessary sacramental wine mandated by several faith groups.
6. Being available for emergency situations.
c) Program Administration
The Religious Services Coordinator provides necessary program administration through skillful use of management tools and techniques. Among the duties and responsibilities:
1. Overseeing the fair and equitable management of all resources.
2. Insuring the security of the necessary sacramental wine mandated by supporting policies and needs of the institution.
3. Attending regular facility staff meetings and facility events, as suggested by the OIC.
4. Assisting the facility’s compliance team in documenting ongoing compliance with the Religious Practices component of the National Detention Standards.
5. Collaborating with the Recreational Department for ongoing socialization of detainees.
6. Managing financial resources and information systems.
d) Institutional Coordination:
The Religious Services Coordinator communicates the mission and goals of the Religious Services Program. Among the duties and responsibilities:
1. Being a ready resource for subject matter expert information to staff.
2. Communicating clearly and in a timely way his/her activities to the OIC.
3. Providing training programs and materials for staff in new and/or unfamiliar issues of detainee religious beliefs and practices.
4. Providing appropriate training for staff concerning cultural, social, and religious diversity and an awareness and sensitivity to differences.
5. Representing the facility’s Religious Services Program in appropriate public forums.
Qualifications and Experience Requirements:
a) Knowledge Required for Position
1. A complete and thorough knowledge of all recognized religions as well as their basic tenets and worship requirements.
2. Knowledge of basic security procedures in a detention setting and the skill to implement/maintain these procedures within the religious program.
3. Knowledge of existing DHS Detention Standards, relevant Policy and Procedure Standards of the American Correctional Association, and other guidelines that govern religious programming.
4. Skill in implementing and monitoring compliance with policy directives/guidelines.
5. Skill in interpersonal communication with staff, detainees; and volunteers within the facility setting as well as outside agencies and organizations.
6. Knowledge of fiscal management procedures.
7. Demonstrated management ability to provide a religious services program that ensures fairly and equitable services for all religious.
8. Skill in interviewing and counseling (individual/group).
b) Religious Credentials
1. Applicants should be ordained clergy or members of ecclesiastically recognized religious institutes of vowed men or women. In lieu of professional ordination credentials, adequate documentation of the applicants' recognized religious and ministerial roles in their respective faith communities is required.
c) Professional Preparation
1. Academic Requirements: Candidates must possess an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited college with at least 120 semester hours (180 quarter hours), and a Master of Divinity degree, consisting of 90 hours of graduate study from an Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accredited residential seminary or school of theology, or have earned the equivalent educational credits of 90 semester hours of graduate study which included 20 semester hours of pastoral ministry, 20 semester hours in any combination of theology, ethics, and philosophy of religions, 20 semester hours in religious history or world religions, and 20 semester hours in the study of religious writings, including the study of languages in which sacred religious writings are written.
2. Experience: At least two years, or 4174 hours, of pastoral/spiritual leadership experience in a congregational or specialized ministry setting within the endorsing body after formal ministerial preparation. Clinical Pastoral Education, a valuable training experience for chaplains, may satisfy up to one year, or 2087 hours, of the requirement of pastoral/spiritual experience.
3. Ecclesiastical Endorsement: An Ecclesiastical Endorsement attests to: the applicant's suitability for detention ministry, support for his or her candidacy, a clear assurance statement that the applicant has no present nor past legal or moral barrier to congregational ministry at any level, and an affirmation that the applicant will afford detainees of all faiths opportunities to pursue individual religious beliefs and practices. The applicant's relationship to the endorsing body must reflect a minimum two-year association before endorsement.
Good interpersonal skills dealing with affiliate networks, denominations and all other constituents. Fluency in a relevant second language is desirable.
Communications: Demonstrate “transparency of information” by articulating program strategies, priorities, standards and expectations to staff and stakeholders. Communicate by example a personal commitment to CWS values. Supervise and evaluate the quality of communications within a program or department. Represent CWS in varied forums, effectively interpreting its mission, values and programs and inspiring audiences to support its work. Understand the importance of good media relations and demonstrate comfort and confidence in communicating with media representatives. Conduct negotiations with local stakeholders with integrity and sensitivity, ensuring all relevant information is clearly communicated and documented. Provide critical insight, perspective and expertise.
Constituent Relationships: Manage relationships with stakeholders and work within their structure to identify programmatic linkages, plan and implement services and activities, and coordinate resolutions to problems. Identify potential constituents with whom to build relationships and flesh out details of those relationships within the context of CWS’s mission, values and policies. Participate in developing recommendations and implementing policies governing relations with stakeholders. Resolve issues of concern to maintain effective constituent relationships.
Job Knowledge: Has a strengthened understanding of the faith-based nature of CWS and is able to articulate that nature to varied audiences. Knows “broad stroke” information about CWS programs and services, where to find more detailed information and how programs and services intersect. Comprehensive knowledge of a particular field and able to use that knowledge in planning and implementing programs. Demonstrate knowledge of how faith-based organizations are governed and use that knowledge to build support from CWS leadership. Demonstrate knowledge of effective business management practices. Assure CWS mission and values are not compromised in achievement of goals and priorities. Evaluate staff skills, abilities and knowledge and identify opportunities to advance their development. Keep up to date with “best practices” and establish or adapt procedures that balance business performance with CWS’s ministry and values. Model creative and effective use of technology.
Leadership: Communicate and model CWS’s mission, values and priorities to staff and stakeholders. Share changes in priorities with staff and stakeholders, providing guidance to assist them in responding effectively. Delegate work among staff and hold them accountable for meeting deadlines. Instill pride in meeting work standards among staff. Accept personal responsibility for the work performed by others. Manage and evaluate staff, program and budget, making any changes necessary to achieve goals. Enable and empower staff to take initiative and be creative. Manage the planning and implementation of CWS’s vision and program goals.
Problem Solving: Identify problems that undermine the effectiveness of a program. Identify and implement workable solutions for program-wide problems, considering the costs, benefits and potential consequences to CWS. Manage and provide the resources necessary to resolve problems within the program or department. Promote staff involvement with and accountability for problem solving as a means to increase staff and organizational capacity.
Program Planning and Management: Manage the development, implementation and evaluation of program activities, establishing budget, implementation steps and time frames. Assure staff understand their roles in supporting program goals and CWS’s strategic plan. Establish standards and expectations for performing work activities and assure the quality of work produced. Lead the gathering and analysis of information from internal and external stakeholders. Make time-sensitive decisions affecting outcomes of program activities. Build consensus with colleagues, stakeholders and management in support of new initiatives. Successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously. Invite critical analysis and perspectives from stakeholders and act on their recommendations to improve program effectiveness.
Resource Building and Stewardship: Plan budget needed for program activities. Manage relationships with partners to assure continued support. Develop opportunities to build support for CWS among new partners. Manage staff and systems to make sure resources are used effectively. Promote CWS’s mission, programs and services and inspire people to support them. Interpret CWS’s policies on stewardship and accountability for its resources to the public.
Teamwork: Contribute program expertise to the work performed by the team. Promote effective interactions among team members and facilitate group discussion. Establish clear expectations regarding team work assignments and assist staff in balancing priorities. Network with other teams to discuss activities and make decisions on goals and activities that may intersect. Negotiate issues that cause conflicts within the team to support effective team functioning. Evaluate team results and individual team member performance, identifying needs and providing opportunities for improvement or enhancing team skills. Produce reports detailing results achieved. Provide critical insight and feedback to teams to enhance performance and results.