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Roger J. Roth

In April of 1980, I came into this wonderful truth in Bremerton, Washington on my way out of my enlistment in the US Navy. I met a young lady in the church there and two and a half years later we were married. Kathy and I now have 5 children and as of June this year, 16 grandchildren. We assisted in the church in many capacities including Head Usher, teaching Sunday School, Youth Leader and assistant pastor. After working in the Shipyard until 1993 as a Shipfitter and Nuclear/Radiological work procedures instructor, we moved to Gig Harbor to start a Home Missions work. Three other churches in three other towns came out of that work and it is still going but starting all over.

I went to work in the Funeral Industry and began to get a burden for people in crisis. I knew the local PD Chaplain (he was a Nazarene Pastor) and one day during lunch he let me know that his wife finally succumbed to cancer. We had been expecting that but did not expect that he would soon be leaving town. I told him he couldn’t leave because then there would be no Chaplain. He smiled and said let’s go for a ride. He took me over to the Gig Harbor Police Chief’s office and introduced me as his replacement. That began a very long and rewarding tenure as a Law Enforcement Chaplain.

I went back to school and obtained a degree in Psychology and Sociology through Apostolic School of Theology. The intention was to get an emphasis on crisis intervention, grief and bereavement and perhaps someday a position as a paid chaplain. One month after completing my degree the position for the Staff Chaplain at Pierce County Sheriff’s Department opened. I applied thinking that it would be an interesting experience and hopefully learn a bit more about the process. I knew some of the people that were also applying and thought I had no chance pitted against them.  After several very intense meetings filling several background questionnaires and meeting with different levels of leadership, the wait was on. I was called about a month and a half later and told that I needed to meet at one of the county training buildings as myself and six other people made it to the oral board portion, which would be the time you present yourself in impromptu situations and respond to anything they want to ask. Two days later I was told that myself and one other person were the finalists, but that I had an edge. Next top, polygraph and about an hour in a chair that is very reminiscent of an electric chair to the point that the only thing it was missing was the head band.

After the polygraph was the psych eval which is where I thought I would get the boot but passed that with flying colors. On December 18th, 2017 I was called in to the Sheriff’s office and offered the job if I still wanted it. My official start date would be January 8, 2018 but for now I would be getting uniforms, and other assorted pre-hire things. I would now be responsible for the spiritual welfare of almost 700 commissioned personnel and those civilians I would be called to the scenes of. That was a major change from the 20 I dealt with at Gig Harbor PD. This was after years of Crisis Intervention Stress Management, Psychological and Mental Health First Aid, Debriefing and Defusing, Notifications, On scene protocol and a long list of other topics you need to know to do what Chaplains do. I was already a Master Chaplain with the International Conference of Police Chaplains and a Chaplain with Tacoma-Pierce County Chaplains Association (T-PCC) both of which provide world class training. I had gone through the Chaplains Academy sponsored by T-PCC and a few Regional Training meetings with ICPC.

The night before I was to begin my tenure as the staff chaplain for the sheriff, I was sitting on the edge of my bed at about 2350 thinking that I needed to get some rest as tomorrow was going to be a big day and I told my friends that I really wanted to hit the floor running at my new job. I laid back and let my head sink into the pillow then at 0002 the phone rang. The guy that was doing my job until my official start date called to let me know that we just had a deputy shot and it didn’t look good. I asked him where he was at and where the deputy was being transported to. No one was exactly sure, but I knew the hospital that had trauma that weekend and headed there. I told him to call me and update me, but I knew it would be obvious if I was right because there would be so many first responder vehicles around that hospital, I might not be able to park close.

I got to the hospital and headed for the ER ambulance entrance badge on my belt ID around my neck and once I got in the door I ran into the sheriff and two of his top captains. They told me where the two deputies were that were performing CPR on the scene and that the peer support team was with them. When I got there they let me know the deputies wife was enroute and about half an hour out, so I called a female chaplain in that had already called me three times wanting to know if she could help. I put her with the wife, and I took the deputy’s family. The rest of the night and ensuing week at the Emergency Operations Center was intense. You train for LODD’s, but you hope you never have to be involved. A few years earlier on Thanksgiving morning, four of our deputies were essentially ambushed in a coffee shop and I had a part in that, but not as big.

Before that first week was out, there would be another Officer Involved Shooting (OIS). The next few months put me and my team on more homicide and suicide scenes than I had been to in 16 ½ years at my former agency. I was personally on 24 suicides. Much of what we do is called ministry of presence and involves being a calming agent. I have told so many people that don’t get what we do or why we do it that if we do our jobs right when we walk on a scene it is spiritual chaos and when we walk off the scene if we have done it right, you can see people begin to smile again because with the help of the Lord we have begun to instill hope and healing.


Chaplain Roth is Occupational Chaplain’s Regional Director for the northwest which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Chaplain Roth is a chaplain with the Gig Harbor Sheriff’s department, while also responding to several other agencies when called. He is also is extensionally trained in suicide prevention by obtaining a degree in Psychology and Sociology. His work in the funeral industry has given him much experience in grief care.

William N. Dillon

OCA Director 


Ministry Central

Distance Learning Primary Site

(Click on picture of books to go directly to Ministry Central)

Perspective Chaplains,

Level One and Two distance learning can be found on Ministry Central ( You can take both Levels on Ministry Central.  To apply for endorse status you must complete Level One training and pass the tests. These are open book tests so feel free to review the material as many times as you need to. You can either take this training though our live training taught by Dr. Sidney Poe or take the training online. The courses are offered at a very reasonable cost compared to industry standards. When you apply there is a charge for application processing and first year dues. After the first year the renewal fee is $90.00 a year.

Within one year after being endorsed you are required to complete Level Two. This training is designed to give you tools to use when the need arises so that you will be able to help those in crises.

We have two sites for distance learning. Below you will see the link to That site was our first training site and only has Level One training. Because of the program limits Level One on this site had to be split up in to parts A&B with test. It takes both A&B and the test to complete Level One training. 

We sincerely pray that your journey into chaplaincy will be an anointed and fruitful path. If we can help you in any way, please contact my Administrative Assistant Brandi Hood at 662-346-3239 or or if you need to talk to me you can call 870-814-0901.

Thank you for your interest and burden.

William Dillon

OCA Director 

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Caring in Action

Director of Occupational Chaplains

OCA Director William Dillon  
Phone: 870-814-0901


All applications are to be sent to:

Brandi Hood Administrative Assistant

913 Mallard Lake Dr.

Baldwyn MS 38824

Phone: 662-346-3239


OCA is an endorsed project of the UPCI in the Office of Education and Endorsements 

36 Research Park Court, Weldon, Spring MO 63304