MASTER'S PROGRAMS » Master of Divinity

U.S. Military Chaplaincy Career

Serving those who serve is the high call of a military chaplain, honoring both God and country. In the broad ministry of a chaplain, lives are impacted, families encouraged, and God is glorified. As spiritual leaders, chaplains help soldiers develop their faith, often influencing people who make decisions that affect our country and world.

Military servicemen and women find themselves in life and death situations, encouraged by chaplains as they experience new places, people, and cultures. Chaplains bring God to the soldiers and the soldiers to God. As a non-combat officer, chaplains carry no weapon but the Word of God, uniquely sharing Jesus Christ with military personnel around the world.

Chaplains are commissioned military officers utilized by each branch of the military. They serve in either active duty or in reserve duty and receive pay and benefits respectively.

Learn more about Baptist Bible Seminary's Master of Divinity Military Chaplaincy concentration here.

Chaplain Candidate Program
Seminary students may enter the Chaplain Candidate Program before graduating, gaining valuable military experience and providing funding for education. Chaplain candidates train for military service and the ministry simultaneously. After graduation, candidates can enter active duty or reserve duty. Requirements for chaplain candidate programs vary by military branch.

The U.S Department of Defense requires an exceptional academic basis for your military ministry. You need:

  • A theological master's degree. Those with an M.Div. are given priority consideration for appointment and promotion.
  • Ecclesiastical endorsement from your denomination.
  • A baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours.
  • A favorable background check.
  • Physical exam clearance.
  • Commissioning prior to a certain age (varies depending on military branch).

Chaplaincy Benefits
The U.S. Military offers several benefits for those who serve in chaplaincy roles, making your ministry profitable for not only you but your entire family. Benefits include:

  • Tuition assistance for theological education (Chaplain Candidate Program).
  • Promotions and pay based upon rank and time.
  • Retirement plan with no paycheck deductions.
  • Continuing education.
  • 30 days of paid vacation (active duty).
  • Medical and dental care for your family (active duty).
  • Free on-base housing or allowance (active duty).

After 20 years of active duty, you can retire from the military and receive pay and benefits for the rest of your life. After 20 years of reserve duty, you will receive pay and benefits starting at retirement.

Online Resources
U.S. Department of Defense
Military Chaplains Association
Army Chaplaincy
Chaplain Care
Navy Chaplaincy
Air Force Chaplaincy