Military chaplains are endorsed by religious organizations and employed by the Department of Defense. As federal chaplains, they are required to have 72 hours of graduate education in pastoral studies (M.Div. or its equivalent) and receive branch-specific training at Chaplain Corps schools. Chaplains 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, reserve, and guard personnel and their families.
The Armed Forces Chaplain Board (AFCB) represents chaplaincy in the Department of Defense and is made up of the Chiefs of Chaplains for each branch of the armed services. This board determines the baseline credentialing standards for all chaplains (service requirements may be more stringent). The AFCB communicates requirements and standards to the religious organizations whose agents endorse individuals for military chaplaincy. A list of endorsing agents can be found here. Each branch also offers opportunities for exploring chaplaincy careers through their Chaplain Candidate Programs (information for the Army, Navy, and Air Force Chaplain Candidate Programs can be found on their recruiting websites).
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 the following: If you’ve got more resources you think we should include on this sector, let us know at email@example.com.