The American Protestant Union is not a "denomination," as its core purpose is to find unconventional ways to support the spiritual journeys of those whose spirits do not resonate with organized religion. As children, our members had parents who raised them unchurched, or they felt violated in some ways by their previous denomination before leaving organized religion. Our clergy serve as hospital and university chaplains, interim ministers, academics, executive directors of nonprofit organizations, and even as local church pastors.
Our members and clergy experience God through communing with nature, in a challenging yoga pose, in a shared story at an Al-Anon meeting, through goosebumps felt at the symphony. Our members and clergy may study the Bible, read philosophy, pray the rosary, meditate, sing in choirs, and go boating to find a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with God. Our exemplars of faith range from the integrity of Anne Hutchinson, to the indefatigable nature of Søren Kierkegaard, to the commitment to truth-telling of bell hooks, Noam Chomsky, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. And our spiritual libraries all seem to include the titles of Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and so many more.
The American Protestant Union is committed to nurturing partnerships with seminary graduates and those who have yet to take their first seminary class, whose paths have lead them toward a more free expression of faith, as opposed to an organized religion. Minimum qualifications for APU ordination include a Master of Divinity (or its equivalent) from a theological school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, a year-long internship in a church or social justice agency, standard essays, letters of recommendation, an in-person interview with the Committee on Ministry, and a three-day psychological and vocational assessment conducted at an approved center.
Clergy who are/were Authorized Ministers in other denominations can easily affiliate with the APU, with letters of recommendation, transcripts, final CPE evaluations, and an interview with the Committee on Ministry.
Ordained or "Authorized" Ministers within the APU may additionally apply for endorsement as a chaplain to help support board certification as a chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains or as a CPE Supervisor through the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.
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261 Chestnut Hill Rd, Norwalk, CT 06851, USA
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: By appointment