Mental Health Integration for Chaplain Services
Click here for the 2021-2022 MHICS overview
What is MHICS?
The 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 https://divinity.vanderbilt.edu/dmin.php for more information and the MHICS Overview for 2021-2022 for a comparison of the MHICS and D.Min. options.
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.
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
"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)."
"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."
"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."
"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."
2018-2019 MHICS Cohort
|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|
2017-2018 MHICS Cohort
|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
|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|
2014-2015 MHICS Cohort
|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|
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 Mental Health and Chaplaincy – with one major initiative being the recurring offering of the MHICS training.