This article discusses the emerging profession of sport chaplaincy as one of the many faces within chaplaincy. Academics have paid little attention to the relevance, function, and vitality of chaplains working within sports, despite the profession's growth at both credentialed and volunteer levels. The vast and rapid development of organizations such as Athletes in Action, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the National Institute of Sport Professionals reveals the need for such a specialized field within chaplaincy at the national level. I approach this topic by explaining the six primary roles of sport chaplains: Sport plays a powerful role in bringing Americans together, and sport chaplains in particular can help foster a sense of community that can even act as a new face of homeland security chaplaincy.
I remember over twenty years ago when the door opened for me to become a police chaplain. The local police chief wanted to start a police chaplain program and my pastor had received a letter asking our church to participate. The pastor wanted me to represent our church in the program.
Preparation is more than planning for the next event. Preparation is a culture! We have been inundated nationally and internationally with events that have been categorized as terrorism, workplace violence, and natural disasters. Regardless of what we have before us as responders, planners, and appointed and elected officials, we must plan, practice, and prepare. We know that it is not a matter of if, but when. Active shooter incidents have been occurring at around one incident every couple of weeks since 2006. The numbers are increasing. The responses must be changed to protect as many lives as possible.