Dr. Dave DeDonato has devoted his life to military, healthcare, public safety and law enforcement ministry where he has done extensive teaching, writing, and publishing in chaplaincy journals. He has served as a volunteer chaplain for Lexington County Public Safety since 2005 and has been senior chaplain for the Town of Lexington Police Department since 2009. He has held state, regional, and national positions with the International Conference of Police Chaplains where he holds a Master Training Level credential, is a Master Fire Chaplain with the Federation of Fire Chaplains, the Founding President of the South Carolina Public Safety Chaplains Association, and is the National President of the Military Chaplains Association of the USA. Additionally, Dr DeDonato serves Deputy Chief of Staff, Future Plans, with the South Carolina State Guard.
A 1969 Distinguished Military Graduate from The Citadel, Dr. DeDonato served as an Army combat line officer and chaplain for 32 years. He graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in 1975, a Master of Arts, Applied and Clinical Ethics, in 1996 from the University of Maryland at Baltimore, and a Doctor of Ministry from Columbia Biblical Seminary, Columbia International University in 2019.
As a United Methodist Elder in the South Carolina United Methodist Conference since 1976, during his Army chaplaincy career, Dr. DeDonato served as a healthcare ethics educator, researcher and writer for U.S. Army Medical Command personnel and U.S. Army chaplains, and advisor to the Army Surgeon General for medical ethics education. With a specialty in critical care ministry and clinical ethics, he served as senior chaplain clinical supervisor and clinical ethicist at three Army medical centers. Dr. DeDonato has been a Fellow (Board Certified Chaplain), Association of Professional Chaplains, since 1991 and has served on their national bioethics committee.
Upon his retirement from the Army, Dr. DeDonato served as Director as Pastoral Care, Lexington Medical Center, until his retirement from there in April 2009. Residing in Lexington, SC he is married to the former Ann Keels, has two children: Marty and Sean, and two granddaughters: Lauren and Marrett.