May 7, 2019


Military chaplains are endorsed by government-approved religious organizations and employed by the Department of Defense. As federal chaplains, they are required to have 72 hours of graduate theological education (M.Div. or its equivalency) and receive branch-specific training at Chaplain Corp Colleges. They provide religious and spiritual care to military personnel, ethical guidance to commanding officers, and partner with social workers and mental health professionals in responding to a variety of issues impacting active duty personnel and their families.

The Armed Forces Chaplain Board oversees all branches of the Chaplaincy Corps and determines the credentialing standards for all chaplains. A list of the approved endorsing agents can be found here. Each branch also offers opportunities for exploring chaplaincy careers through their Chaplain Candidate Programs (for example, the US Army).

Recent collaborations between endorsers, theological educators, chaplains, and military leaders feature discussions about how to best prepare military chaplains for 21st century chaplaincy. Examples include:

Pathways to Military Chaplaincy: A Seminary Initiative

Scholarship on Moral Injury

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