HomeDOG MINISTRY: The CAM/PS StoryResearch Projects: Studies on Dog MinistryDOG MINISTRY Prayer-Group GatheringFrequently Asked Questions about Dog MinistryAbout Us: Jerilyn and AlyaFour-Footed Ministers in Formation: A Training Manual on Dog MinistryMore Information/Resources

General Questions

Can you tell me more about dog-ministry organization(s)?
Though there does not yet exist a formal organization for Four-Footed Ministers, the training manual that was part of the dissertation project will provide facilities with the process of developing their own in-house programs based on the CAM/PS Model.
 While there exists an early discussion of the CAM/PS Model (Four-Footed Ministers: Their Theology of Presence) available at www.Amazon.com, the 2013 training manual for the Four-Footed Ministers Pastoral-Care Program is available at bookstore.iuniverse.com in both print and eBook formats.

What kind of training does a person need to become a Four-Footed Ministerial team?  We direct potential ministerial teams to take the series of tests for registration through Pet Partners, Bellevue, Washington (www.petpartners.org). These tests for registration insure that the dog and owner are appropriately screened and can function safely in the environment. As a volunteer, the Pet Partners team is covered under a general liability insurance policy. Professional pastoral-care providers need to investigate their liability coverage with their own organizations. 

Volunteers with no pastoral care training should seek guidance from their church or the spiritual-care department where they volunteer. The training manual listed above has suggestions for chaplains/directors of spiritual care on recruiting and training volunteers in this ministry.

Can a lay person form a Four-Footed Ministerial team with their dog?  Most certainly. It is important for the person who is not trained in a seminary setting to seek guidance on spiritual/pastoral-care issues from professionals, from either the spiritual/pastoral-services department of the facility where they volunteer or from a member of their pastoral-care department of their church.

What are the best breeds for this form of ministry/pastoral and spiritual care?  It is not the breed that qualifies the dog for participation, but the individual dog's willingness to seek out human beings who are in need, regardless of that person's size, age, or physical challenges. This quality characterizes the most successful candidate for the Four-Footed Ministers Pastoral-Care Program.

Where do the dogs get their training?  A dog who has the quality of empathy coupled with basic obedience training that meets standards of behavior set by Pet Partners, will be a successful Four-Footed Minister candidate. There are many local resources for dog training but the best place to begin is the local humane society that often has lists of local dog trainers who can work with the owner/handler and the dog.


Do you have more questions? Please feel free to email them to: jefelton2011@gmail.com