The following is a brief overview of PMA license facts. If you are interested in a PMA license, much more information is available through a PMA license representative. We will be happy to answer whatever questions you many have. Click here to contact our support staff.
Please click here, if you are interested in applying for a Certification as a Pastoral Assistant.
Questions Frequently Asked About PMA Licensing
OVERVIEW OF THE PMA
Simply stated, the PMA's mission is to promote lifelong health and well-being. In this context, the PMA is committed to contributing meaningfully in efforts to reverse the epidemic of chronic illness.
To these ends, the most fundamental purpose and inherent part of our mission is to (a) restore and protect Pastoral Science & Medicine and its fundamental ecclesiastical safe and natural healthcare principles and practices, (b) assure that biblically-sound natural health services are offered professionally and ethically for protection and benefit of the general public, (c) protect and advance the rights of healthcare practitioners who wish to offer these services, and (d) assure access to such services for all those seeking them. Click here to see our PMA Constitution
ABOUT PMA's LICENSEES
ABOUT THE PMA LICENSE
State licensing boards are charged with protecting the general public through establishing standards for the practice of conventional healthcare. Accordingly, state licensing boards issue various healthcare licenses and regulations governing those practices and they regulate the activities of providers operating under those licenses.
PMA issues licenses for the practice of Pastoral Science & Medicine for the same general purpose. The difference, however, is that establishing reasonable standards and regulating healthcare practitioners who offer natural and spiritually-based Pastoral Science & Medicine protocols and services are outside the jurisdiction of secular regulatory boards.
Specific licensing requirements involve many facets that should be discussed with a PMA license representative. Please click here to complete the brief request form and a PMA license representative will be happy to contact you and answer any questions you may have.
The PMA license process is a comprehensive process and multiple factors are evaluated. The staff time required, as well as the actual cost to complete the practitioner profile and background investigation, vary with each practitioner. Therefore, the cost of processing license applications varies as well.
The application fee and annual license fee are evaluated and determined based on the above variables as you proceed through the licensing process. Please note, however, the PMA has a flexible "no practitioner left behind" program to assure that every qualifying practitioner can afford a PMA license.
SCOPE OF PMA's LICENSE
The PMA license is completely separate from any state license you may hold. It stands on its own. The PMA license and your state license have separate scopes of practice.
The PMA license authorizes offering ecclesiastical-based Pastoral Science & Medicine health and wellness services, according to PMA regulations. It in no way affects, by either prohibiting or extending, any healthcare service you may be authorized to provide under any state license.
This said, you may be able to lawfully provide healthcare services under your PMA license, which you may not be authorized to provide under a state license. This depends entirely upon what specific service you are offering, what type of license you hold, and in what jurisdiction you are practicing. Also, this presumes you are appropriately separating your PMA licensed practice from your state licensed practice, pursuant to PMA licensing regulations.
VALIDITY OF PMA's LICENSE
In asking this question, however, it is important to remember that PMA's license authorizes the ecclesiastical practice of Pastoral Science & Medicine, and not the practice of any secular state licensed healthcare practice. Therefore, if you asked a state medical board if PMA's license is "recognized" in their state, you might get a firm "No" in response. And technically, that's a correct answer in that PMA's license is not recognized in any jurisdiction as a license to practice conventional medicine.
We have been very clear about this in efforts to protect PMA licensees. We make no assertion and, in fact, PMA explicitly disclaims that the PMA license is or should be recognized as a license to practice any form of conventional secular state licensed or unlicensed healthcare.
Importantly, no practitioner operating within the confines of our PMA license and regulations has ever lost the right to offer Pastoral Science & Medicine services, here in the U.S. or anywhere in the world!
This abandonment and resulting takeover of healthcare by conventional medicine has resulted in a widespread misconception that all healthcare falls within the domain of conventional medicine and its regulation by state secular authorities. However, the inherent rights of ecclesiastical entities to address and promote biblically-based health concepts and services have not changed, and these rights remain constitutionally guaranteed in the U.S. and many other countries.
This misconception has also ironically led to the perception that the PMA is "breaking new ground" in supporting the practice of Pastoral Science & Medicine based on biblical principles and teachings; while, in truth, the PMA has merely picked up and reestablished an important element that has been forgotten in many church settings.
Because the public has forgotten the ecclesiastical responsibility for healthcare, providing such services may be challenged by secular regulatory agencies. Fortunately, however, in the U.S. the right to individuals to practice spiritual-based natural healthcare is highly respected, and it would be necessary to overturn a century of Supreme Court precedence to successfully impede the sharing of ecclesiastical health principles and practices.
Yes. As long as the licensee meets PMA standards, the PMA license operates equally for the benefit of healthcare providers who may be lawfully practicing without licenses in some jurisdictions as well as those who practice under various state licenses. Please contact our PMA license representatives for more information.
OTHER LEGAL ISSUES & PROTECTIONS
There is no guarantee as to what your state licensing board may do or try to do.
However, according to the U.S. Constitution and overwhelming U.S. Supreme Court precedence, individuals have certain guaranteed rights, and among those are (a) the right to work (and have as many occupations as they desire) and (b) to the right to hold and pursue the religious beliefs of their choice. These rights may only be impinged in specific circumstances, and offering ecclesiastical-based health and wellness services is not one of those.
When PMA license rules are followed, including separation of PMA services from any state licensed services; the PMA license has no effect on any state license and state license has no effect on PMA license. If you are in good standing and following PMA regulations, PMA’s legal team will defend any action a state licensing board may initiate claiming that your PMA license is invalid and/or that you are not allowed to practice biblically-sound Pastoral Science & Medicine.
A small number of states have now passed health freedom legislation, but those laws are not uniform in their terms and the interpretation of the various provisions of those laws by governmental agencies can result in variable outcomes in deciding whether your specific healthcare services and how you advertise your practice are in compliance. In this context, the PMA license offers an additional avenue for legal safety.
Additional information is available from a PMA license representative.