NEW CALEDONIA, ND – Patients and staff were appalled last week when University of Eastern North Dakota Medical Center (UENDMC) chaplain, Steve Zosser, admitted publicly that his career in chaplaincy was actually part of a get-rich-quick scheme out of seminary. We caught up with him for this groundbreaking interview.
DME – There are a lot of rumors flying around this week at the hospital about your motives for becoming a chaplain. Can you comment?
Zosser – It’s all true. If it weren’t for the big bucks, you’d never catch me sweating through hours of bedside spiritual support.
DME – You’re not passionate about spiritual care for hospitalized patients and their families?
Zosser – Spiritual care is something that’s gotta be done, and I guess I’m as good as the next person to do it. But I’ll admit, I was drawn to the lifestyle – the fast cars… the flashy tailored suits. It all seemed very glamorous when I was in seminary.
DME – Do you ever regret your decision or wish you had chosen a career that you loved?
Zosser – A lot of my friends dedicated their lives to things like banking or stock trading, and I admire them for giving it all up to follow their passions, but I had to do something where I was compensated well for my work. I confess that if the bottomless money-stream from hospital chaplaincy ever dries up, I’ll probably have to find something else to do to support my lifestyle.
DME – What advice do you have for young chaplains coming into the field?
Zosser – The fame and fast cash can be intoxicating to a lot of new chaplains, and you see kids make some really poor choices. You’ve gotta keep your head on straight and get a good wealth manager to help you put some of that dough away for a rainy day. Go get that first Ferrari, but remember that if you want to maintain the same country club life after retirement, you gotta make a few sacrifices now.
DME – Thank you for your time.
Zosser – Of course, no problem. Listen, I gotta run. There’s an elderly lady with pneumonia on the fourth floor who has questions about the health of her soul… It’s a gold mine for sure!
For his courage and candor as well as his commitment to staying true to his ideals of luxury in the face of adversity, Chaplain Zosser is this week’s DME Health Hero.