of the Military Services
Diocese of the Military Services & Chaplaincy
Consider Becoming A Military Chaplain
Join a spiritual ministry that spans the globe, reaching young men and women and their families in the Armed Forces. You will accompany Soldiers, Marines, Airmen & Sailors all over the world as they train and carry out their assignments while focusing on their spiritual well-being. As a Chaplain, you will affect others through this profound and life-changing ministry.
Members of the clergy play a vital role in helping their fellow sea-service personnel negotiate the crucial moments in their lives. They provide moral support for young people away from home for the first time, lend advice to individuals facing personal or emotional difficulties, and provide spiritual assistance to people from all walks of life. Navy Chaplains serve on ships and at foreign and domestic bases throughout various Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard commands.
Reserve Chaplaincy Opportunities
As an Reserve
Chaplain, you'll be a preacher, a teacher, a counselor and a
citizen-Soldier. You'll be one of the chosen who minister to your
neighbors—neighbors who dedicate their time to their country.
Unit Ministry Teams
You will lead the Unit
Ministry Team (UMT), which consists of you and a trained Chaplain
Assistant. Since a Chaplain is a non-combatant, you do not carry a
weapon at any time. Your Chaplain Assistant provides security for the
UMT. They're fully trained on the conduct of worship services, as
well as Soldier-specific tasks.
A Special Calling
Serving God and His
People as a Priest requires you to develop your pastoral skills in
the seminary and then apply what you've learned within a community of
the faithful. The U.S. Military offers you the opportunity to learn
about the pastoral aspects of a cleric's life in ways that build on
your seminary and pastoral experiences.
You Serve Military Personnel…And Their Families
Your ministry will not
only include Soldiers, Marines, Airmen or Sailors, but their spouses
and children as well. So you'll be faced with the exciting challenges
of leading worship and preaching, counseling young couples,
establishing education classes and youth groups, and working with
parish and congregational advisory groups.
You will serve in the
active Armed Forces, with an initial duty of three years.
In the Reserves,
you'll usually serve just one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
And, of course, you'll be able to bring invaluable experience back to
your civilian ministry.
1. You must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement from the Church. This endorsement should certify that you are:
A. A priest in good standing in the Catholic Apostolic National Church.
B. Qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally to serve as a Chaplain.
C. Sensitive to religious pluralism and able to provide for the free exercise of religion by all military personnel, their family members and civilians who work for the Armed Forces.
2. Educationally, you must:
A. Possess a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours.
B. Possess a master's degree in divinity or a graduate degree in theological studies, which includes at least 72 hours.
3. Applicants for active duty MUST be U.S. citizens. Permanent residents can ONLY apply for the Reserves.
4. Be able to receive a favorable background check.
5. Pass a physical exam.
Helping priests discern a call to minister in the military
Within the branches of military service there’s a recruiter different than any other. He is a priest-recruiter. His job is to help priests discern whether they have a call to become a chaplain in one of the branches of the U.S. Military.
Support of the dioceses and the archbishop make it possible.
Because all Catholic Apostolic National Church chaplains must be endorsed by a diocese, the work of the Diocese for the Military Services would not be possible without the continued sacrifices that the individual dioceses and provinces make. Their belief in the importance of ministering to military men and women and their families makes the work of chaplains possible.
Answering the Call
When a priest discerns a call to the chaplaincy, he must seek the permission of his bishop or religious superior to be released from his parish for a minimum three-year assignment with the service. The process of becoming a military chaplain varies a bit in each service, but there are some elements the Army, Navy, and Air Force all require:
application and supporting materials are presented to the Director,
Diocese for the Military Services, who determines if a man is a good
candidate for chaplaincy. On average, the process takes about two to
The need for
Chaplains is great.
Ministry in the military is a real ministry of presence. It is a 24-hour-a-day ministry that calls on your creativity and your passion for your faith. If this sounds like the ministry you have been seeking, the life of a chaplain could be for you.