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 may have. Click here to contact our support staff.
Also, if you have not yet read About the PMA and About Pastoral Science & Medicine, please start by reviewing these pages of our website.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 practitioners who offer 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 authorizes offering ecclesiastical-based Pastoral Science & Medicine health and wellness services according to PMA rules and 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 health 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 state license you hold, and in what jurisdiction you are practicing. This also presumes you are appropriately separating services you are providing pursuant to your PMA license from your state-licensed practice, pursuant to PMA rules and regulations.
In issuing the PMA license, the PMA authorizes the general practice of Pastoral Science & Medicine within our defined Scope of Practice. Although we do identify and advise PMA licensees of diverse clinical protocols and practice development resources that we feel may be useful to them, the PMA does not license practitioners to use any specific health equipment, product, protocol or substance.
It is up to PMA licensees to choose what specific services they want to offer their clients. To be within PMA authorized Scope of Practice, services must be “scripture-based” — that is, practitioner activities must generally support and not violate scriptural principles and rules.
For clarification, the PMA’s role as an ecclesiastical licensing authority might be compared to that of a secular Medical or DC Licensing Board issuing licenses to qualified professionals to practice medicine or chiropractic. These Boards are not endorsing or licensing a specific type of medical procedure or chiropractic style or protocol. Instead, it is up to the healthcare professional to choose and provide services that fall within the license’s defined scope of practice.
VALIDITY OF PMA’s LICENSE
In asking this question, however, it is important to remember that PMA’s license authorizes offering scriptural-based health services within the PMA authorized Scope of Practice, 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.
Technically, that’s a correct statement in that PMA’s license is not intended or recognized in any jurisdiction as a license to practice conventional medicine. However, due to constitutional restrictions, no governmental entity has the legal authority to either recognize or deny the validity of an ecclesiastical entity or its activity. States must remain “neutral” to ecclesiastical bodies.
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 secular healthcare service.
Importantly, no practitioner operating within the confines of 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 scriptural-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 scriptural principles and teachings; while, in truth, the PMA has merely picked up the ball 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 of 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.
However, in providing such services, the respective practices must be completely separate from one another; the practitioner must comply with all applicable licensing rules and regulations pertaining to each license; and clients must be given sufficient disclosure information to understand the difference between the services provided and treated in a manner that maintains the distinction and separation of the practices. Please click here for more information.
OTHER LEGAL ISSUES & PROTECTIONS
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 in general 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 scripturally-sound Pastoral Science & Medicine.
In such circumstances, the PMA’s legal team will evaluate the reasonableness of the governmental action and advise you accordingly. If, in our opinion, the threatened governmental action is unlawful or unreasonable on its face, or it unnecessarily restricts the practice of Pastoral Science & Medicine, our legal team will defend the rights of all PMA licensees similarly impacted by the threatened action.
Clearly, all practitioners can benefit from additional practice protections and enhanced credibility. Plus, the PMA is committed to the success of our licensees. As a PMA licensee you will have access to all of the clinical and practice development resources we continually seek, evaluate and marshal for the benefit of our PMA practitioners.
Additional information is available from a PMA license representative. Please click here to complete the Contact form to speak with a representative.