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Education and Training in


Living Shield Ministries educates and trains students in what it means to be a Chaplain, how to be a better Chaplain, and what further skills can be expanded to later benefit people in crisis. We also train volunteers not called to be a Chaplain.

We believe that Chaplaincy is a journey. As students go through training and further education, they acquire new knowledge and proficiencies that will provide confidence while practicing in the field and assist in gaining opportunities for further experience.

Along with certificate courses, we also provide a rigourous course in Chaplaincy that concludes with ordination and a Chaplain 1 certificate.

fire chaplain
What is a Chaplain?

ministers to the needy

Chaplains provide a sacred perspective & spirit in a secular setting

A Chaplain brings compassionate care to those in despair. Ambassadors for Christ in high-crisis settings, chaplains navigate the difficult terrain of spiritual and emotional crisis management in the real world.

fire chaplain
What do Chaplains do?

a spiritual paramedic

Often chaplains respond by helping people in crisis or with tragedy

Chaplains both understand and intentionally live out the scriptures. They make their time available to humbly and compassionately serve those in crisis and need, in a Christ-like manner.

chaplain military
Why be a Chaplain?

heed a calling to compassion

Chaplaincy is for those who feel called to compassionately care amidst communities facing tragedy

Feel called to bring hope to people? To be a rock in people’s worst storms? Are you a good listener? Do you have compassion for those in need? Chaplaincy may be for you.

Upcoming Courses

We offer many courses for volunteer and chaplain training. Below are courses that begin in the near future.

School of Chaplaincy (5-day)
School of Chaplaincy (5-day)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Chaplaincy is a cutting-edge ministry that allows one to reach out to—not only the faith community but the secular community as well. Though looked upon as spiritual, a chaplain’s primary purpose is secular in nature, for he/she can provide crisis...

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Providing & Applying Self-Care (1-day)
Providing & Applying Self-Care (1-day)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: As chaplains, pastors or church volunteers, if we are not careful, we risk burnout. It is our deep caring nature and heart for others that leads us to serve those in need. Continual service to others who are in a crisis is a tremendous blessing but...

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Grip of Grief and Trauma (2-Day)
Grip of Grief and Trauma (2-Day)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Perhaps the greatest mission field of the 21st century is the field of grief and trauma. Grief is to suffer due to some type of loss. Often, that loss is caused by a very traumatic event. A person in trauma often lives with the recurrent,...

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Our Courses

Chaplain students and volunteers seeking training may wonder what does it take to be ordained as a Chaplain. A person who is ordained has gained official status as a Chaplain through a sanctioned process through education and commitment to ministerial functions of a Chaplain, according to the ordaining organization. Living Shield courses are for both volunteers and those seeking Chaplainship. These courses include professional instruction, role playing real-life situations in small groups, preparation for application of Chaplain skills, and motivation.

Certificate Programs

Certification programs are available for a number of chaplainship and volunteer disciplines to enable students to better understand  and prepare for the unique challenges likely to be presented.

Core Chaplain Classes

Obtain required Chaplain skills or enhance volunteer skills by enrolling and attending core classes. Students attend in-person to learn to master the skills of used by Chaplains to aid people in crisis.

Ordained and Endorsed

By obtaining a Chaplain 1 Certificate, students become eligible to apply for Ordination. Students then may apply also to be ordained by Living Shield Ministries.

Additional Training

Upper level Chaplaincy training and a broad-based selection of advanced Chaplain training programs in specific disciplines is available to those who want to sharpen their care.

Course Disciplines

A Chaplain may elect to serve in a particular discipline. We also offer courses to help students gain knowledge and focus for a single discipline.




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Study with Experienced Teachers

Living Shield Ministries supports students through their journey of gaining skills, exercising them in real-world situations, and growing with each deployment or crisis. Our instructors have a depth of real-world experience from a wide variety of crisis management situations.

chaplain course living shield

Why take a class?

Testimonials from Advocates

Living Shield Ministries trains chaplains who impact the world around them. Below are some testimonials from advocates who have seen the work of the belated founder as well as other Living Shield Ministries chaplains. Today chaplains formerly trained by the founder teach courses and classes continuing to attain the mission.


Whether consoling those impacted by natural disaster, or at the scene of tragic incident involving the death or severe injury of our public safety personnel, Steve and his team of Living Shield Ministry Chaplains are there…

John Tavaglione

Supervisor , Riverside County

I can personally attest ot the importance and benefit of having a chaplain to minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of our members. In times of crisis, Chaplain Ballinger is there to offer comfort, guidance, and hope.

Michael Moore

Fire Chief

Chaplain Steve Ballinger (of Living Shield Ministries) is a man of God with a heart to minister to the needs of firefighters and police officers. He responded to the aftermath of 9/11, Katrina and numerous incidents in California. As a former Fire Captain and Pastor, he has the heart of a Chaplain.

John White


Whenever the need presents itself in the Riverside Police or Fire Departments or the County District Attorneys Office, Steve can be counted on to make himself available before even being asked. The compassion, generosity of spirit, and experience he brings to the task are unbelievable…

Sergio Diaz

Former Chief of Police, City of Riverside

It is without hesitation that I recommend Chaplain Steve Ballinger and Living Shield Ministries… took on this heavy burden of offering comfort… and provided inspiration and spiritual peace to a grieving Department and City.

Chris Mac Arthur

City Council Member

Explore our Most Popular Courses

Chaplaincy is ministry on the move. Gaining further education by attending a future course now can enhance the quality of compassion and care in crisis.


Core Course

School of Chaplaincy
  • 4.9
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taught by a Living Shield Instructor
Group Crisis Intervention
  • 4
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Core Course

taught by a Living Shield Instructor
Grip of Grief and Trauma
  • 4.6
  • 2