Called to be a Chaplain

Called to be a Chaplain

My name is Christopher Stigall, and I am 56 years old. I live in Tombstone, Arizona (yes, THAT Tombstone), and am a United States Marine Corps veteran. I have some seminary training but ran out of funds to continue paying the tuition in 2013. Further, I hold CLA’s Licensed Christian Wedding Officiant and Ministry Chaplain credentials.

My Story

When I was a child, I was surrounded by relatives who were devout Christians. At age 14, I decided to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Therefore, I made my public profession of faith. Since then, I have held various lay ministry positions, off and on, throughout the years.

In late 2014, I finished a shift at work. I was crossing a street in a crosswalk. A charter bus struck me with an illegal left turn on a red light. I have permanent injuries, including TBI (brain damage), and am legally disabled.

New Beginning at CLI

In late 2022, I felt I had recovered my mental functions well enough to study. I wanted and needed to refresh my (theological) education and carry it further, if possible. Since I had (literally) no money then, I looked for free options online. I discovered the Christian Leaders Institute and decided to do a course or two. The courses were excellent, so I jumped in with both feet. I chose not to transfer any credits as I wanted this to be a fresh journey. As of this writing, I’ve completed 149 credit hours, with a GPA of 3.958.

Called to be a Chaplain

I am pursuing the Minister of the Word and the Chaplaincy diplomas. Then, an event occurred a few months later that caused me to look back on my ministry activities. I always hoped to become a Pastor. However, looking back, I realize I was called to be a chaplain.

Therefore, I decided to obtain the Licensed Ministry Chaplain credentials. Official credentials will be beneficial and may open more opportunities to minister to others. Several people I’ve spoken with around town (including a couple of our pastors) think having a Chaplain here is a great idea, as we need one. I can now provide those services. I will finish working on the diplomas and then intend to pursue some of the other courses of study CLI offers.

Recently, I read a brief description of the difference between a “Pastor” and a “Chaplain” in a Chaplaincy textbook. A Pastor is attached to a church and has a congregation he is responsible for ministering to. A Chaplain is not connected to a church, has no congregation, and is responsible for ministering to anyone he meets, no matter their beliefs. A Christian Chaplain must always be an Ambassador of Christ to all people. That is what I am trying to do.

If you are wondering about CLI courses, these courses are as good, and some are better than any I took in other colleges and in seminary. If you want proper ministry training, here it is!

Register a Study Account

Register for a free study account, automatically enrolling you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.

When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.    

The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:

  1. Ministry Awards, Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees with the Christian Leaders Institute.
  2. Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities. 

Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.  

Find out more about women in ministry here.

Henry Reyenga
Author: Henry Reyenga

Henry Reyenga is president of Christian Leaders Institute and Christian Leaders Alliance.