The Middle Tennessee Movement Chaplaincy Cohort is a 300-hour leadership and spiritual formation program designed for organizers, seminarians, clergy, activists, nonprofit staff, and everyday prophetic leaders. 

In partnership with Auburn Seminary, Faith Matters Network will offer a Nashville area movement chaplaincy cohort who will serve as a pilot group exploring the idea of chaplaincy base in social justice movements. Participants will complete 150 hours of field work with grassroots social movements and 150 hours of small group theological reflection and learning in a multi faith environment. 

Participants who complete the program will be awarded a Certificate of Justice Ministry Education (1 Unit) from Auburn Seminary.

Applications for the cohort are now closed. Stay tuned for future updates.



What's the Story Behind the Program?

As a birth and postpartum doula, Micky supported women and their families in the process of birthing their bundles of love into the world through emotional, informational, spiritual, and physical support. She now envisions herself as a justice doula supporting others to bring more love, shalom and justice into the world through the same avenues of support. Our movements for justice need fortification and support in order to move through the process of birthing more justice into the world. Through conversation and collaboration with the Faith Matters Network team and others, Micky began dreaming about an emerging movement chaplaincy vocation. This program is an avenue of healing justice that contributes to beloved community by equipping people of faith to show up in social justice movement spaces and bridge with faith communities by utilizing the best skills, tools, practices and knowledge from our deep wells of faith, elder wisdom and community assets.

Why Movement Chaplaincy?

Rather than beating down the barriers to inclusion church by church, movement chaplains accompany activists, faith-rooted and secular organizing communities and congregations towards a new future of increased civic participation and empathy-based ethics. Instead of waging a cultural war on age-old institutions, we are nurturing a generation of leaders to shepherd them toward inclusiveness and justice, demonstrating how they may also replenish their own moral authority by leaving the brick-and-mortar church to solve problems in the community.

Think disaster chaplaincy meets military chaplaincy meets peer chaplaincy meets the best of contemplative activism, de-escalation tactics meets the best of nonviolent direct action training...and whatever else needs to be in the mix!


Program Structure




This is a pilot program and subject to change based on the needs of the participants, organizations and leadership involved. We are excited about this time of co-creation and exploration. Those applying to the program need to embrace flexibility, embrace collaboration and commit to engage a flexible process.

All are welcome to apply regardless of age, gender, sexuality, religion, class, race, ethnicity or other identity marker. Anyone who is interested in deepening their approach to faith-rooted justice work, especially community organizers, activists, clergy, seminary students, and staff or board members of issue-based nonprofit organizations may be a good fit for the vocation of movement chaplain. Students may apply for or negotiate academic credit with their institutions if available. Auburn Seminary and your individual institution will be able to provide support for academic credit. The Nashville cohort encourages non-academic, non-degree seeking applicants, bi-vocational folks and those from all spiritual traditions or persuasions.

The Nashville Movement Chaplaincy Cohort will use the action-reflection-action form of learning. Participants will engage in intense hands-on field work and reflect on their experiences with a supervisor and a small group of peers. We will accept 4-8 participants as part of this pilot cohort.


2016-2017 Timeline

  • October 2016: Interested individuals can apply beginning October 2016 here: . Please read over the information here and at before applying. Please contact program facilitator, Micky ScottBey Jones with questions at .

  • October 2016: Organizations interested in working with a movement chaplain during 2017 can read more information here and can email Micky at for more information.

  • November 18, 2016: Deadline for participant applications

  • December 2, 2016: Participants Notified  of Acceptance into Program.

  • January 13-15, 2017 (MLK Weekend): Orientation Retreat

  • January-July 2017: Participants will complete a 300 hour program - 150 hours of fieldwork and 150 hours of small group theological reflection. Participants will be guided by program-wide and site-specific program objectives, will earn a certificate of completion, and may have the potential of earning academic credit. The program will include 2-3 retreats held at Scarritt Bennett Center and will meet bi-weekly for reflection.

  • August 2017: Certificate award ceremony & celebration

Institutional Partners