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  3. Chaplain Ministries
  4. How to Become a Military Chaplain
  5. Other Helpful Links for Potential Military Chaplain Applicants

Other Helpful Links for Potential Military Chaplain Applicants



  • 30 days of vacation with pay each year.

  • An additional 15 days of permissive leave to attend training and denominational functions.

  • Medical and dental care.

  • Low-cost life insurance.

  • Excellent retirement package (qualified after 20 years of service).

  • Excellent pay and allowances.

  • Tax-free allowances for housing and meals

  • Shopping privileges at military commissaries and exchanges.

  • Excellent atmosphere for families.

  • Promotion opportunities.

  • Funded graduate education on a selected basis.



The chaplain candidate program allows individuals to explore the military ministry option while attending a seminary. It is designed to expose seminarians to the diverse and demanding role of Air Force chaplains in a variety of ministerial settings. Chaplain candidates are appointed as a Second Lieutenant.


  • Be a citizen of the United States.

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

  • Be less than 35 years of age at time of appointment (Allow six months for processing).

  • Obtain approval from the agency of your denomination/faith group which endorses chaplains for the armed forces.

  • Apply when enrolled full time in seminary, but no later than the third semester before graduation. Enrollment must be at an accredited or recognized theological seminary or school of religion.

  • Must be a full time student working toward a Master of Divinity or equivalent degree.

  • Be able to complete approximately 100 days of training during their summers.

  • Be physically qualified, as determined by a USAF commissioning physical examination. (including height and weight standard chart).

  • Pass a security background investigation.


You do not need to wait until ordination to join the Army Chaplaincy. You can train to become an Army Chaplain at the same time as you are training for the ministry. The training and experience you will get as a Chaplain Candidate will add a special dimension to your seminary education. By joining the Army Reserve Chaplain Candidate Program, you will get a head start on Army Chaplain training, as well as all the benefits of being an Army officer while still in seminary.


  • Ecclesiastical approval from your denomination or faith group

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours.

  • Be a full-time graduate student at an accredited seminary or theological school.

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

  • Receive a favorable background check.

  • Pass a physical exam.


The ROTC Education Delay Program offers ROTC Cadets the opportunity to apply for a delay in the fulfillment of their Active Duty Service Obligation (ADSO) in order to attend graduate school. You can receive up to $3,500 every year during seminary to help toward tuition costs. If you choose to do this, you must serve at least four years in the Army Reserve. Your only other obligation is that you seek ordination and ecclesiastical endorsement within three years of finishing seminary and to meet the Chaplain Candidate requirements.


  • Cadets normally apply for an education delay at the same time and on the same form (FORM 67-9) used to submit their choice of a branch selection, usually between the months of May and September before their senior year of college.

  • The Army approves education delays on a case-by-case basis through a board process. The cadet, upon graduation from college, and once on education delay status, serves as a Chaplain Candidate.

  • Upon completion of graduate school, the individual must then apply to the Army for formal accession into the Chaplain Corps.

What Are My Obligations if I Enter the Chaplain Candidate Program?

Chaplain candidates must agree to seek ordination and ecclesiastical endorsement to become chaplains within three years of graduation from seminary. They must also agree to serve three years on active duty if the Army requires their service, provided they receive written endorsement from a recognized ecclesiastical endorsing agency. The requirement for nomination for an existing denominational vacancy makes active duty competitive in peacetime.

How Do I Join?

For information on requirements and procedures for entering this program, write to the endorsing agency of your denomination.


  • Head start on Army Chaplain training.

  • Privileges and benefits of the Army National Guard or Army Reserve officer while in seminary.

  • Financial: 45 days Active Duty Training per year for three years receiving the minimum pay of a Second Lieutenant. This could increase in amount depending on prior years of service or if you held a commission at a higher rank. The National Guard Chaplain candidate may participate in 48 unit training assemblies and two weeks annual training


The Navy also has a “Chaplain Candidate Program Officer” (CCPO) program for seminary students who might be interested in obtaining a commission before completing their graduate studies. The CCPO program offers significant pay advantages once a chaplain enters active duty. The program also includes on-the-job training under the direct supervision of an active duty chaplain.


Chaplains are commissioned as officers in the Reserves and National Guardsmen.  Active Reserves and National Guard are required to attend monthly drills, plus two weeks of annual training. If a Reserve Chaplain does not desire to be assigned to an active reserve unit he may chose to participate in the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) program.  This program allows the chaplain to meet all requirements by participating in two weeks of annual training and one day a month with the Active Duty forces.


  • Ministry to armed forces living in the community.

  • Outreach.

  • Retirement pay begins at age 60.

CIVIL AIR PATROL (CAP): Endorsements for this civilian auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force are handled the same as those for the Military Chaplaincy.  Age, physical and security criteria are less stringent.  Additional information may be obtained by writing to:  Chief, CAP Chaplain Service, HQ CAP-USAF/HC, 105 South Hansell St., Maxwell AFB, AL. 36112-6332. Tel: 334-953-6002.


  • Opportunity to minister to youth pledged to serve “community, state, and nation.” Cadets may be as young as 13 and as old as 20.

  • Oversee/supervise the Cadet Moral Leadership Program.

  • Help shape future enlisted and officers in the United States Air Force (USAF).

  • Assist USAF chaplains as needed and requested.

  • Serve/provide ministry during times of emergencies.

  • Opportunities to minister to the unchurched.

CHAPLAIN CANDIDATE PROGRAM: A Chaplain Candidate is a part-time Reserve Officer who is enrolled in a seminary.  After graduating from seminary the candidate may apply for active, reserve or National Guard chaplaincy.  Active duty requires experience as an internship during seminary.  Without internship the applicant will be required to gain ministry experience after graduation.  Each military service sponsors a Chaplain Candidate Program.  Candidates must pass a physical exam and National Agency check. The applicant must be a full-time student at an accredited seminary.  Approved applicants are commissioned Second Lieutenants (2LT) in the Air Force and Army. In the Navy the applicant is commissioned an Ensign, which is equal to the rank of 2LT.  A uniform allowance is provided.  Students accepted and commissioned into the Candidate Program are given the opportunity to attend the Chaplain Basic Course during the summer period.  While attending the Basic Course the student is provided a 2LT/Ensign salary. Following graduation from the Basic Course, the Chaplain Candidate will be given the opportunity to work under the supervision of a military active duty chaplain on a military installation.  All military training for the Chaplain Candidate is conducted during the summer months. The US Army provides an annual grant of $3,500 for Chaplain Candidates.

The following Websites and telephone numbers provide additional information:

Air Force www.arpc.org Tel: 800-525-0102, Ext. 71241
Army www.chapnet.army.mil Tel: 800-223-3735, Ext. 6-0435
Navy www.chaplain.navy.mil Tel: 703-696-5363

Each year the Military Chaplain Association, P.O. Box 7056, Arlington, VA 22207-7056 awards a number of $2000 scholarships for Chaplain Candidates.  Applications may obtain an application by writing to the above address, by telephone: 703-276-2189. Also the information may be obtained through the Web site: www.mca-usa.org  (This Web-site provides a link to all Military Chaplain Services, Veteran Affairs and Civil Air Patrol)

Chief of Chaplains – Army
800-223-3735, Ext. 6-0435

Office of the Chief of Chaplains
2511 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Arlington, VA 22202-3907
Chief of Chaplains – Navy

Chief of Chaplains Office
ATTN: 097A
2 Navy Annex
Washington DC 20370-0400
Chief of Chaplains – Air Force

Air Force Chief of the Chaplain Service
12 Luke Ave, Carpenter Bldg 5683, Ste 319
Bolling AFB DC 20032-9050
800-525-0102, Ext: 241

National Guard
800-443-2985, Ext. 8435
Chaplain Personnel Management Division
550 C Street West Ste 28
Randolph AFB, TX 78150-4730

Civil Air Patrol:

The Military Chaplain Association of the United States of America
P.O. Box 7056
Arlington, VA 22207-7056
703-276-2189 (Voice & Fax)

Association of Professional Chaplains
1701 Woodfield Road, Suite 760
Schaumburg, IL  60173
(847) 240-1014 (Voice)
(847) 240-1015 (Fax)

PRCC Chaplain Ministries
E-mail: chaplainministries@pcanet.org

Updated on July 9, 2020

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