ko te manaaki i ngā kaihākinakina | caring for New Zealand's sports community

We would like to help you with becoming a Sports Chaplain. We provide training, accreditation, as well as help with team placement for suitable candidates.

Is Sports Chaplaincy for you?

Sports Chaplaincy training

Sports Chaplaincy interest form

Becoming a Sports Chaplain – is it for you?

Why Sports Chaplaincy?

The New Zealand sports community is a very large group of people of all ages and backgrounds who come together with a common love for sport. There are many physical, mental, social and also emotional benefits that come from being part of a sports club. However, there are also many struggles in life that sports organisations are not equipped to provide for. A chaplain is able to make a valuable and meaningful contribution to the mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of people, showing the love of God in a practical way that is relevant to people of sport, as well as helping make a real difference to their life outcomes.

What does a Sports Chaplain do?

A Sports Chaplain is a volunteer and a guest in a sports organisation. They are a neutral, independent person who is there to serve. Much of a Sports Chaplain’s work is simply being present and available in the sports community. They may be asked to be a listening ear, or to be a mentor, to help resolve conflict, or to offer advice. Sometimes they may be asked to lead prayers or Bible study.

A Sports Chaplain is available to players, coaches, officials, management, as well as their families, without discrimination.  Sports Chaplains accept and work with all people, regardless of their religion, beliefs and lifestyle.

A Sports Chaplain is not a psychologist or professional counsellor. They know their limits and will refer to other services when necessary.

Listen to two football chaplains discussing what their work involves.

How to become a Sports Chaplain

If you’re thinking of becoming a Sports Chaplain, then the main qualifications you will need are a love for Christ, a love for people of sport, and time. You will also need to have the endorsement and support of your local church, and also a police check. If you are suitable, then comprehensive training will be provided by Sports Chaplaincy New Zealand.

If you would like to know more about becoming a Sports Chaplain, then please complete a Sports Chaplaincy interest form.

Photo of Sports Chaplains for Becoming a Sports Chaplain page

Sports Chaplaincy training


Firstly, for those who would like to find out more about Sports Chaplaincy, we offer a two hour introductory session.  This will help you understand the basics of chaplaincy and decide whether you would like to pursue it further.

‘Lite’ Training

A half-day course designed for parents and others playing or volunteering in sport, at either club or school level. As a result, you can become more effective in providing pastoral care to those around you.

Maybe you coach a youth team and would love to have a greater impact than just teaching skills. You are probably aware of a lot of deeper needs in the young people and their families, but you are not sure how to start to help.

Or, maybe you are a sportsperson and have a desire to shine Christ’s love into the lives of your teammates.

Four Phase Training

A foundational course to envision and equip you to become a Sports Chaplain. Each Phase has six sessions and is usually taught over a day in a classroom setting.

The training environment is interactive. Experienced trainers encourage you to share your knowledge and experience for the enrichment of the whole group. You have time to reflect and also to record your learning. At the end of the training, participants receive SCNZ’s Certificate in Sports Chaplaincy.

First, Phase 1 explores the Biblical basis and critical elements of Sports Chaplaincy. Phase 2 places particular emphasis on pastoral care, while Phase 3 centres on mentoring and includes a visit to a sports organisation. Phase 4 provides practical guidance on subjects such as family life; suicide awareness; and grief, loss and transitions.

Attendance at Four Phase Training, together with the submission of completed Learning Captures, is a requirement for Sports Chaplaincy NZ accreditation.

Find dates of upcoming training in your region.

Continued Professional Development

Ongoing courses for Sports Chaplains are offered according to need, to help you in your personal ministry, and also to help you develop Sports Chaplaincy in your region.

If you become an accredited Sports Chaplain, then these courses are discounted.

Training Dates

Interested in becoming a Sports Chaplain?