Mental Health Integration for Chaplain Services - MIRECC / CoE
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Mental Health Integration for Chaplain Services




Transition Partnership

"I find this educational format and delivery system the best of my graduate and post-graduate studies. The quality of the videos, poignant and challenging reaction and response questions, face-to-face video calls, case studies, in-person meetings, and the challenge to integrate the learning into my environment as a practical reality makes this one of the most comprehensive experiential education programs I have ever seen."   -VA Chaplain

Click here for the 2021-2022 MHICS overview

What is MHICS?

Collage of MHICS presenters from didacticsThe Mental Health Integration for Chaplain Services (MHICS) program is an intensive sub-specialty training that aims to better equip chaplains in the care of Veterans and Service members with mental health-related concerns.

Chaplains accepted into MHICS can additionally apply to pursue a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Integrative Chaplaincy through Vanderbilt Divinity School and earn academic credit while completing MHICS. See for more information and the MHICS Overview for 2021-2022 for a comparison of the MHICS and D.Min. options.

Collage of Images and  MHICS presenters from didactics

Collage of  More MHICS presenters from didactics

This innovative training tailored to the contexts of DoD and VA chaplains uses formational, interactive, and applied methods to cultivate knowledge and skills in evidence-based psychosocial and integrative approaches to spiritual and pastoral care. Faculty and presenters include top experts from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and academic settings.

MHICS spans three academic semesters and consists of self-paced distance education, practicum consultation calls, and three separate multi-day face-to-face training intensives.

Collage of  MHICS training modalities

What MHICS Alumni have said about their training:

  • "[helped] me interact more proficiently with behavioral health." — Army chaplain
  • "deepened my understanding of the overlap between mental health and chaplaincy." — Navy chaplain
  • "provided me with tools for pastoral care I had not previously been using ... brought me up to date on research … [and enhanced my ability] to communicate to mental health providers." — VA chaplain
healthcare chaplain Navy Chaplain
"The MHICS training organized and systematized the clinical skills I already had and helped me develop additional skills to care for Sailors. Specifically, incorporating Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) enabled me to cultivate change talk and promote positive action more effectively than I had done previously.

Because we are one hour away from the nearest mental health colleagues, it is important for me to be able to listen to and help out people here, as well identify what needs are beyond me and talk to them about going to the next level (i.e., referral to mental health)."

Army Chaplain
"MHICS has given me the right tools to support the work of mental health providers. Not a day goes by where I am not using a concept from Problem Solving Therapy (PST), MI, grief work, and ACT."

DoD chaplain

VA Chaplain

"Through the MHICS training I was enabled to incorporate language from two disciplines in a way that found common ground and effectiveness in reaching local faith groups, Veteran Service agencies, and community members."

VA Chaplain
"I have given excellent ratings to the entire program of MHICS. I find this educational format and delivery system the best of my graduate and post-graduate studies. The quality of the videos, poignant and challenging reaction and response questions, face-to-face video calls, case studies, in-person meetings, and the challenge to integrate the learning into my environment as a practical reality makes this one of the most comprehensive experiential education programs I have ever seen. Kudos to all who created it, refined it, and continue to deliver it in a most professional and enjoyable manner."

Military chaplain 

Testimonial letter from MHICS Chaplain in the Navy

MHICS Alumni

2018-2019 MHICS Cohort

Cohort 4 MHICS Class

DoD   VA
Peter Agdamag (Navy)   Anthony D. Allen
Micah Baker (Air Force)   Robin Booth
Tamas Biro (Army Reserve)   Robert Brady
Philip Carson (Navy)   Carter Check
Rob Compere (Air Force)   Jim Duke
Juan Crockett (Army)   Ryan Lee Duncan
Matthew Deitner (Army National Guard)   Victoria Fishel
John Denny (Army National Guard)   Clay Fouse
Ian Howarth (Air National Guard)   Beth Gobeli
Takana Jefferson (Navy)   Richard Green
David Keel (Air Force)   Tony Headrick
Charles Kim (Air Force)   Mary Huie-Jolly
David Kim (Navy)   Sean LaBat (Navy Reserve)
Chris Melvin (Army National Guard)   Mike Antoinette McGruder
Andy Peck (Air Force)   Linda McKnight
Jeffrey Perry (Navy)   Kristen Melton
Steve Peters (Air National Guard)   Rebecca Morris
Rob Pitts (Air Force)   Eldred H. Moye Sr.
Jessica Prophitt (Air Force)   Adam Page
Twig Sargent (Navy)   Ryan Parker
Philip Scarbrough (Navy)   Karen Pickler
    Patrick Whiteford

2017-2018 MHICS Cohort

Cohort 3 MHICS Class

DoD   VA
Jeremiah Blackburn (Air Force)   Chris Antal
Robert Bradshaw (Navy)   Brett Cartwright (Navy Reserve)
Michael Carollo (Air Force)   Linda Conyers
Robert Carter (Army Reserve)   Jennifer Crane
Tara Dixon (Air Force)   Shirley Craven
Rashad El-Saddiq (Air Force Reserve)   Paul Dordal
Aaron Fuller (Navy Reserve)   Jennifer Dukes
Henry Hahm (Air Force)   Fredi Eckhardt
Travis Hairston (Army)   Sara Emmerich
Jason Hart (Navy)   Janis Grubbs
Steven Hervey (Navy)   Charles Hall
Michael Kennedy (Navy)   Manuel Mak
A'Shellarien Lang (Army National Guard)   Barrington Malcolm
Michael Moreno (Navy Reserve)   Gary Morris
Christopher Morgan (Navy)   James Parnell (Army National Guard)
Brent Mulder (Air Force)   Patricia Roberts
Christina Pryor-Pittman (Air National Guard)   Edward Rogland (Army National Guard)
Nakia Robinson (Army Reserve)   Henry Rutledge
Kevin Sears (Army)   Robin Sullens
Richard Smothers (Navy)   Drew Tomberlin
Gerald Woodford (Army)   David White
    Phillip Willis Jr. (Army Reserve)

2016 MHICS Cohort

Cohort 2 MHICS Class


DoD   VA
Michael Bram (Air Force)   Ethel Bamberg-Revis
Bryan Davenport (Navy)   Herbert Becker 
Clay Edinger (Navy)   Douglas Falls
Kenya Gray (Air Force)   Janet Hanson
Frances Igboeli (Army)   James Hughes
Clayton Jones (Navy)   Lannie Lake
Jason Knudeson (Air Force)   Ann Luna
Linda Lesane (Army)   David McElwain
Dallas Little (Air Force)   Robert Mueller
Benjamin Mayhugh (Navy)   Abdul-Rasheed Muhammad
Eamon McGraw (Navy)   Lance Qualmann
Michael McGruder (Army)   Richard Ross
Linda Murtala (Army)   Valerie Sanders
Charles Owens (Navy)   Steven Smith
Robert Sterling (Army)   LaRon Stover
Christopher Sutton (Navy)   Bruce Swingle
Yoni Warren (Navy)   Chris Van Inwagen
Jeromy Wells (Air Force)   Brynn White
    Kimberly Willis
    Will Wise

2014-2015 MHICS Cohort
Cohort 1 MHICS Class

DoD   VA
Jesse Adkinson (Army)   Constance Arthur
Chad Bellamy (Air Force)   Nancy Cornell
Carlos Brito (Air Force)   Alejandro De Jesus
Sean Burson (Air Force)   Octavio Di Iulio
Matthew Cassady (Army)   George Diller
Bruce Crouterfield (Navy)   Tammie Elfadili (Army Reserve)
Christopher Earley (Navy)   Jennifer Hanksmeyer
Stephanie Handy (Army)   Kerry Haynes
 Alfred Matthews (Army)   Gretchen Hulse (Air Force Reserve)
Baron Miller (Navy)   Beverly Hume
David Ravenscraft (Army)   Lyn Juckniess 
Peter Robinson (Army)   Brian Manigold
Ben Sandford (Navy)   Rob McLaren
Chuck Seligman (Air Force)   Joe McMahan
Matthew Stevens (Navy)   Elizabeth Putnam
John Tarr (Navy)   Louise Shaw
Mike Tomlinson (Navy)   Ronald Skaggs
    Cliff Vicars

DoD/VA Partnership for Transition Support

Over 150 VA and DoD chaplains have completed MHICS. MHICS-trained chaplains are located across the globe and embody meaningful potential to function as a network of specially-equipped chaplains to address military-to-civilian transition challenges.


*Chaplain locations change frequently, especially in DoD, but we keep an active directory of VA chaplains for community and military providers who wish to connect transitioning Service members to a chaplain in the VA trained to provide an evidence-based skillset.

The period of transition from military service to civilian life can be a potentially high-risk time for suicidality and distress. For years now, largely in response to the new generation of post-9/11 Veterans, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) have recognized the need for collaborative efforts to address the psychosocial needs of Service members transitioning to civilian life. The large-scale VA/DoD Integrated Mental Health Strategy launched in 2010, is a prime example. One of the VA/DoD IMHS strategic actions focused on the role of chaplains. Work coming out of that strategic action has developed and evolved over the past decade under Integrative Mental Health – with one major initiative being the recurring offering of the MHICS training.