As members of the hospital's interdisciplinary team, chaplains are concerned with the needs of patients, families and staff. A chaplain's training includes skills in pastoral counseling, family systems and working with groups as well as in a wide range of traditional spiritual and religious areas. A chaplain can come from any faith tradition and must have the ecclesial endorsement of her or his religion.
Historically, the role of a chaplain was filled by clergy and other individuals who did not have specialized training in chaplaincy. This changed for chaplains during the second half of the twentieth century and there are now many training programs, various professional standards, professional organizations, certification procedures, etc.