Certification Training


Option 1: For recognized Ordained Ministers of any faith tradition who affirm and respect other spiritual/religious  paths. Everything listed in the "Training Course Overview," below, will  apply to you. At the end of your training you will be awarded the "Certified Animal Chaplain" certificate.

Option 2: For others committed to the welfare and advocacy of animals/pets and their human companions. The Ordainment requirement is waived and acceptance will be on a  case-by-case review. You must fill out the application completely, but write "waived" on any questions relating to Ordination. All requirements, as listed below, must be completed in order to be awarded the "Certificate of Completion in Pet Bereavement." If you subsequently become ordained, upon submitting proof of your recognized ordainment, you will be sent the "Certified Animal Chaplain" certificate. A suggested donation for issuing this new "Certified Animal Chaplain" certificate is a minimum of $5, more is gratefully accepted, to the  "Helping Paws Fund."

PLEASE NOTE: Instant, on-line, "upon payment" ordination is not recognized and many on-line training seminaries are not recognized. Please contact Reverend/Chaplain Karen to make sure your  ordination is acceptable BEFORE submitting your application with the $95.00 donation as the donation is non-refundable.

If you are looking into recognized remote/on-line seminary training please consider these two organizations:
The New Seminary - www.new-seminary.com
HaShem's House    - www.hashemshouse.org
It is strongly suggested that you look at "The New Seminary" site in order to see what the requirements are for ordination as an Interfaith Minister.


Step 1:  Go over all the requirements listed to make sure you are able to complete them all. If so, go to the Application tab and print out the application.

Requirement 1:  Attach documentation of your leadership title or certificate of ordination from any religious organization to your application. Please DO NOT sent the original. A copy is sufficient. We will use the title listed on your certificate of ordination for your animal chaplain certification certificate. Please note that this
Animal Clergy training is a ministry course, not an ordainment.
This is why we require that you are already an ordained minister in your own faith (on-line instant ordination is not acceptable).

Step 2: Phone Interview. Once we receive your completed application with all required attachments a phone interview will be arranged. We will contact you either by phone or e-mail to set up a convenient time/date for your interview.

Requirement 2:  Once you are accepted into the course you will be sent a List of Reading Materials. You will be required to read your selections from each list (of adult books; children's books; Interfaith/Multi-Faith studies) and to write a short written reaction to each. We are looking for thoughtfulness and a serious commitment to animals and their human companions. Please write legibly if you are unable to have it typed, and ask someone to proofread your work for spelling and/or grammar errors, if necessary.

Requirement 3:  To find theological support for your work within your denomination. Because Interfaith Animal Chaplaincy draws on all religious traditions/practices and each religion has its own sacred texts or variations of a single text we do not teach theology. Hence, the requirement of already being an ordained Minister/Rabbi /Imam/etc.
A. Using the internet or your own denominational resources as a reference, find which scriptural readings will support your work in the field of Animal Ministry (an exhaustive review is not necessary - a few verses or passages are acceptable).
B. List several contacts within your own denomination to support and help you in your theological growth regarding Animal Ministry. If you will be working independently, please find at least three (3) friends who are spiritually minded and that are animal lovers who will be there for you when you need to talk with
someone. Remember, you must agree to complete confidentiality with your clients. These persons must be trustworthy, be able to support you in your work, and be there for you if you are having a difficult time emotionally or just need a person to discuss a case with to gain further insight or help.

Requirement 4:  Demonstrate your compassion for animal and the humans who love them by volunteering at a veterinary clinic/center/hospital, animal shelter, animal sanctuary or zoo. You will be provided with a volunteer form to be completed by you and your supervisor. A minimum of 20 hours is required.

Requirement 5:  You will be asked to write a "Burial Service," "Memorial Service," "Prayer During Euthanasia," "Prayer to Help Guide the Pet's Human Companion," and a "Pet Blessing." There is no mandatory length and detailed instructions will be provided.

Step 3: Once all requirements are completed, send all paperwork back to:       Chaplain Karen j Cohen
      230 Pebble Hill Way
      Rockledge, FL 32955

Please do not send piecemeal. Wait until you have completed all your work and then send it all at one time.

Step 4: A review of all your completed requirements will be made within three (3) weeks of  receiving all of your paperwork. If it is determined that you have passed all the requirements a certificate of completion will be sent to you that will certify you as an animal chaplain.

If there are omissions or areas that need further clarification, you will be contacted either by e-mail, telephone or mail in order to rectify any problem areas so that certification can be bestowed.

If it is determined that the above requirements have not been satisfied, you will be notified of this status and you will not be given the certificate of completion. You may reapply after a waiting period of two (2) months from the date you were denied certification.

We hope this information helps to answer any questions you might have regarding the certification process and requirements. If you have any further questions please e-mail me at: