SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah-based World Spiritual Health Organization has graduated its first class of chaplains, who are spiritual mental health professionals and artists of inspirational religious works.
As FOX 13 News’ Bob Evans reports, the graduates are ready to make the world a better place.
Front and center at graduation services for the World Spiritual Health Organization is its mission statement:
Where it is absent, introduce it.
Where it is dormant, revive it.
Where it is alive, sustain it.”
In the multi-cultural and multi-denominational graduation ceremony, several students received their chaplain certificates. Several painters were recognized as well.
"It's a reminder of what's important to people in lots of walks of life, different denominations, I think we have a lot more in common than we have differences,” said Greg Olsen, who is a painter.
Devan Horlacher of West Valley City got his certificate in interfaith chaplaincy.
"Mainly because I like the idea of interfaith,” he said. “I really like the idea of working with everybody, bringing them to their source of healing."
Otto Johansson received his chaplain's certificate four years ago, and this year he became board certified. He works as a hospice chaplain for caregivers.
"It is a calling, you know, it's not my choice, I never knew that I was going to be a chaplain, but I know it's God's call,” he said. “He called me to be one of his apostles in this world."
Chaplains getting their certificates this year represent a wide array of religions and philosophies, including members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Roman Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, those who believe in the Metaphysical, Native American faiths and those who are non-denominational.
The prestigious Association of Theological Schools recently granted WHSO formal accreditation, making it one of three professional chaplain entities in the US, and the only one west of the Mississippi.