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Zac Willette is a board certified chaplain and founder and president of Allay Care, a nonprofit organization that guides people through both life and death experiences by helping them become more comfortable talking about and documenting end of life wishes and values. It is his belief that we are never too young or too healthy to get prepared for death, that death is part of life, and that death should be considered with dignity and beauty, similar to the way we view life. Prior to training as a healthcare chaplain, Zac took a fellowship to study hunger and nutrition in the US while working on a reservation in Arizona. He has a background in education and international work, he worked for the National Coalition for the Homeless and he later worked in two of Chicago’s most intense emergency rooms and trauma centers. Prior to starting Allay, he served as the head of spiritual care at Ascension, the nation’s largest faith-based, nonprofit health system. Zac has traveled to all seven continents and to all 50 states. He’s an award-winning storyteller with The Moth. He has used his many life experiences to carve out a new career category that changes our understanding of death and dying. If you’re someone who’s searching for ways to have a faith-based career, wants to learn how to become a chaplain, or are simply interested in work that doesn’t fit perfectly with your major, then this is the episode for you! Tune in to learn more about Zac’s life as a chaplain, an educator, a startup founder and president, and more.


  • What it’s like to be a board certified chaplain and who should consider this profession
  • How to become a board certified chaplain, the various types of chaplaincy and the structure of chaplaincy
  • Why you shouldn’t become a chaplain or enter a faith-guided profession “if you want to fix people”
  • How to reorient the resilience of families living with grief, no matter their religious or cultural backgrounds
  • How to avoid burnout while working with vulnerable people in intimate settings
  • Why learning to deal with grief can help you assign dignity to both life and death
  • Why you should appoint a health care agent (actually 3 people) and here’s the link to a free form to fill out
  • Why it’s ok to pursue a career path in an area other than what you’re told you’re good at 
  • Why to read Why We Sleep 


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