Code of Conduct

Because the chaplaincy ministry is such a high and holy calling, and because the morality of those called to be chaplains is so crucial to the good name of the Christian ministry, it has been thought necessary to provide a guideline as to what constitutes appropriate, God-honoring behavior in the chaplaincy. In a climate where there is increasing confusion about ethical standards and a higher incidence of moral disqualification from full-time Christian workers, the following Code of Conduct is submitted for endorsement by all those whose names appear on the Membership Roll of the Emergency Services Chaplaincy of Southern Africa.


As a chaplain of the Lord Jesus Christ, called by God to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed to both emergency services personnel and trauma victims, I dedicate myself to conduct my ministry according to ethical guidelines and principles set forth in this Code of Conduct, in order that my ministry be glorifying to God, my service be beneficial to the Emergency Services Chaplaincy of Southern Africa and the wider Christian community, and my life be a witness to the world.

Responsibilities to Self

1. Recognizing that the cultivation of my personal relationship with the Lord is my most basic

and crucial obligation as a chaplain, I will nurture my devotional life through regular times of

prayer, reading of Scriptures and meditation on them.

2. I will continue to grow intellectually through personal study, and attending appropriate

conferences, workshops and seminars where possible.

3. I will manage my time well by properly balancing personal obligations, church duties,

chaplaincy work and family responsibilities, recognizing the need for recreation but never

shirking my chaplaincy responsibilities.

4. I will be honest and responsible in my finances by living within my income, paying all debts on

time, not getting involved in excessive debt, never seeking special gratuities or privileges on

grounds of my chaplaincy work, being a faithful steward of my resources, and living a Christian


5. I will be truthful in my speech, never exaggerating the facts, misusing personal experiences,

or communicating gossip.

6. I will endeavor to maintain my physical and emotional health through regular exercise, good

eating habits, and the proper care of my body.

7. I will seek to be Christ like in attitude and action towards all persons, regardless of race,

social class, religious beliefs, or position of influence.

8. I will be faithful in my church attendance and will make use of every opportunity for worship,

fellowship and church involvement.

Responsibilities to Family

1. I will be fair to every member of my family, giving them the time, love and consideration they


2. I will endeavor not to burden my family with the trauma I may witness or experience and will

therefore seek someone outside my own immediate family to whom I can unburden.

Responsibilities to the Personnel

1. I will seek to be a servant-leader by following the example of Christ in faith, love, wisdom,

courage, and integrity.

2. I will faithfully discharge my duties as chaplain through the proper setting of priorities,

planning, work habits and reasonable schedules.

3. In my duties, I will be impartial and fair to all personnel, never treating any individual or group

with undue favoritism, and never seeking to curry special favour with those who may be able to

benefit me personally.

4. In my teaching and counseling opportunities, I will give adequate time to prayer and

preparation, so that my teaching and advice will be biblically based, theologically sound, and

clearly communicated.

5. In any evangelistic opportunities, I will seek to lead persons to salvation without manipulating

converts, proselytizing members of other churches, or demeaning other religious faiths.

6. In my visitation and counseling practices, I will seek, as far as possible, never to be alone with

a person of the opposite sex unless another colleague or emergency personnel member is

present nearby; in all my dealings, I will observe the most scrupulous sexual purity, and I will

refuse to take advantage of the vulnerability of any counselee through exploitation or


7. I will maintain strict confidentiality at all times, except where disclosure is necessary to

prevent harm to persons and/or is required by law.

8. I will commit myself to maintaining the highest level of integrity, transparency and

accountability in relation to funds; I will refuse to be the sole signatory on chaplaincy accounts

or to handle such funds alone.

9. I will not attempt to misuse the rank of assistant- or full chaplain. I will regard it as a privilege

to carry any rank and use it only as an opportunity for service and not as a means of authority.

10. I will respect all ranks of all departments, even those deemed to be subservient to mine.

Responsibilities to Colleagues

1. I will endeavor to relate to all chaplains as partners in the work of God, respecting their

ministry and co-operating with them.

2. I will seek to serve my colleagues and their families with counsel, support and personal


3. I will refuse to work in an area where the senior chaplain has not granted me permission.

4. I will refrain from gossiping or speaking disparagingly about the person or work of any other


5. If aware of serious misconduct by a chaplain, I will contact the coordinating chaplain of that

chaplain’s area directly and inform him of the incident.

Responsibilities to Community

1. I will obey the laws of the government unless they require my disobedience to the law of God.

2. I will never attempt to use any piece of uniform or emergency signals like a red light for any

other purpose than authorized official use.

3. By being a chaplain I accept that I am a servant of the community and will never approach

any member of the public or community for any type of remuneration or reward.

4. Any fund-raising done by myself shall fall within the ambient of the Articles of Association,

Code of Conduct and by-laws of the ESC (SA), having been previously authorized by my

Regional Coordinating Chaplain after the necessary written request has been submitted, and

written approval was issued by the Board of Directers the ESC (SA).

Responsibilities to the Emergency Services Chaplaincy of Southern Africa (ESCSA)

1. I commit myself to adhere to the statement of faith as reflected in the Articles of Association.

2. I will loyally support and co-operate with the ESC (SA), its office-bearers.

3. I will faithfully pay my annual membership fee to the ESC (SA).

4. I will make every attempt to attend any District, Regional or National meetings, especially

Annual General Meetings.

5. I will work to promote and improve the ESC (SA) in its efforts to expand and extend the

Kingdom of God.

6. I will not compromise the witness of the chaplaincy through actions such as the consumption

of alcohol, the use of tobacco or the abuse of any substance, whilst in uniform and/or

performing my duties as chaplain.

Concluding General Rule

Recognizing that no code of conduct can cover every eventuality, I pledge, by the grace of God, to conduct my ministry and my life in accordance with the spirit of Paul’s injunction, “Whatever you do, whether in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col.3:17), that the Lord’s name and the reputation of the chaplaincy may be enhanced through my life.

  • In signing the Code of Conduct, I commit myself to honouring it, and upholding it, understanding that should I not act as requested of me, my membership from the ESC (SA) might be terminated.
  • In signing this Code of Conduct, I also state that I have read and fully understood the Articles of Association of the ESC (SA) and that I accept and will abide with them in every aspect.

How can I be Better at what I Do?
Striving to excellence in God’s ministry
Isaiah 61: 1 - 3