The Federation of Christian Ministries (FCM) has its roots in the Vatican II era that affirmed the primary identity of the Church as the pilgrim people of God and embraced a dialogue with the modern world.
In 1968 the Society of Priests for a Free Ministry (SPFM) began to give voice to priests looking for church reform, especially for optional celibacy.
In 1973 SPFM changed its name to Fellowship of Christian Ministries (FCM) reflecting the growing interest in small communities of faith as a more ecumenical and professional religious organization with its own certification program in ministry. FCM acknowledged that each Christian has a charism to share, and that certification or recognition of that charism can have a public and civil dimension as well as an ecclesial aspect in preaching, presiding at liturgies, witnessing marriages, conducting funerals and providing pastoral and spiritual care as chaplains.
In 1981 FCM became the Federation of Christian Ministries to include people of various religious traditions, and to affirm women as equals and partners in ministry. FCM had diversified its membership through the Committee on Denominational Concerns and allowed for a variety of interfaith expressions in community, ministry and worship.
Today FCM is a Faith Group member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) and is listed in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches. FCM has a process called Endorsement for Specialized Ministry for commissioned members seeking employment in chaplaincy or clinical pastoral work. It has a national Circle of Directors, a bimonthly FCM Newsletter, holds regional and national assemblies and offers continuing education and bachelors to doctoral degrees through Global Ministries University.