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VA RIN: 2900-AP83 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: ●Ecclesiastical Endorsing Organization 

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its medical regulations by establishing in regulation the eligibility requirements that religious organizations must meet in order to provide ecclesiastical endorsements of individuals seeking employment as VA chaplains or of individuals who are seeking to be engaged by VA under contract or appointed as on-facility fee basis VA chaplains under 38 U.S.C. 7405. VA considers the veterans’ spiritual care an integral part of the veterans’ overall health care. As such, VA is committed to providing qualified VA chaplains to address the veterans’ spiritual needs by engaging chaplains that are ecclesiastically endorsed by a religious organization. Ecclesiastical endorsement would certify that the individual is qualified to perform all the religious sacraments, rites, rituals, ceremonies, and ordinances needed by members of the religious organization of which he or she is a member.

Agency: Department of Veterans Affairs(VA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 38 CFR 17.655   
Legal Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501    38 U.S.C. 7304    38 U.S.C. 7305   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  12/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
John Batten
Program Specialist, Headquarters Chaplain
Department of Veterans Affairs
Veterans Health Administration, 100 Emancipation Drive,
Hampton, VA 23667
Phone:757 728-7062