Female Caucasian Army Chaplain in uniform with closed eyes and standing has one hand on seated Soldier with eyes closed in prayer Female Caucasian Army Chaplain in uniform with closed eyes and standing has one hand on seated Soldier with eyes closed in prayer

Army Chaplain

Care for the spiritual, moral, and emotional wellbeing of the Army—and make it stronger from the inside out.

Caucasian male Chaplain CPT Stene Talking to a Soldier wearing OCP outside during the day. Caucasian male Chaplain CPT Stene Talking to a Soldier wearing OCP outside during the day.

Nurturing the Soul of the Army

Since 1775, Army Chaplains have acted as spiritual counselors who support, motivate, and provide emotional guidance to Soldiers and their families.

  • Tend to the spiritual needs of every Soldier both at home and while on deployment
  • Recognize the physical, mental, and spiritual challenges Soldiers must face every day
  • Leverage innovative approaches to counseling, spiritual care, religious programs, and services

The Army Chaplain Advantage

As a member of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, you’ll feel fulfillment in ways that you wouldn’t in a civilian career.

Challenging Work

Help the Army Family build inner resilience as they deal with unique physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. Support Army leaders as they manage difficult decisions that ensure the safety and future of our country.

Religious Diversity

Observe the distinctive doctrines of your faith, while honoring and ensuring the right for others to observe their own. Join a team that represents hundreds of denominations and faiths, from ministers and priests to imams and rabbis.

Spiritual Calling

Enjoy the deep satisfaction of performing a vital service for your country, making not only a profound difference in the lives of Soldiers in the Army, but in the lives of their families, friends, and communities.

Black male Army Chaplain gives a sermon to Army Soldiers seated in front of him Black male Army Chaplain gives a sermon to Army Soldiers seated in front of him

Many Ways to Make a Difference

Chaplains serve almost every type of unit in the Army, from infantry and intelligence to hospitals and community ministries.

  • Provide marriage and family counseling
  • Serve as a staff chaplain at a medical facility, correctional facility, or combat hospital
  • Become an instructor at one of several Officer service schools
  • Get advanced training for additional duties including staffing Chaplains in needed locations, and managing Chaplaincy-related personnel, finances, logistics, and facilities

 An Army Chaplain stands in front of seated Army members, all in uniform  An Army Chaplain stands in front of seated Army members, all in uniform

We’ll Pay for Your Education

The Chaplain Candidate Program (CCP) is designed for ministry students who want to explore or get a head start on a career in Army Chaplaincy while still in school. By participating in CCP, you’ll gain valuable experience and make a real impact in the lives of Soldiers and their families.

  • Gain valuable ministry education and training
  • Enjoy benefits and privileges associated with being an Officer
  • Receive up to 100% of tuition costs

Outside image of Army Chapel with grassy yard and trees, during the day. Outside image of Army Chapel with grassy yard and trees, during the day.

Working as an Army Chaplain Part Time

As a Chaplain in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard, you’ll serve part time in support of your community, state, and country. You’ll be able to pursue a civilian ministry while you serve and train near home, spending one weekend a month on Chaplain duties and two weeks a year in training.

Caucasian female Officer CPT Chaplain O'Malley and Medical-Surgical Nurse standing bedside with male patient inside a hospital. Caucasian female Officer CPT Chaplain O'Malley and Medical-Surgical Nurse standing bedside with male patient inside a hospital.

Army Chaplain Requirements and Next Steps

Whether you’re looking to start your career or you’re already well into your journey, there are certain requirements and steps you’ll need to take.

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or are a current graduating college senior
  • Secure an endorsement for military service from your faith group
  • Enroll or get accepted as a full-time student in an accredited graduate program that qualifies you for ordination

Caucasian male Chaplain CPT Stene Talking to a group of Soldiers wearing OCP outside during the day. Caucasian male Chaplain CPT Stene Talking to a group of Soldiers wearing OCP outside during the day.

Support Army Chaplains as a Religious Affairs Specialist

The Army Chaplain’s team relies on the support of Religious Affairs Specialists, who honorably coordinate religious programs and worship services. They’re also responsible for performing administrative duties and for bearing arms to protect the Chaplain during times of combat.

Common Questions About Army Chaplains

Do Army Chaplains have to go to Basic Training?

As a Chaplain, you won't participate in the Basic Training that enlisted Soldiers complete. Instead, you'll attend the Direct Commission Course (DCC), a six-week intensive physical, weapons, and leadership course that will prepare you to serve as an Officer, beginning with the rank of first lieutenant.

After completing the DCC, you’ll attend the Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course (CHBOLC), a required training course that focuses on your professional, physical, academic, and spiritual growth as a military Chaplain.

Do Army Chaplains have to pass a fitness test?

Yes, you must meet Army height and weight standards, as well as pass the Army fitness test.

Do Army Chaplains have to fight?

No, Chaplains are not issued weapons and are not allowed to engage in combat. During times of combat, Chaplains are protected by Religious Affairs Specialists. However, all Chaplains handle firearms during weapons training, which is required for all members in the Army.

What religions are included in the Army Chaplaincy?

The Army Chaplaincy is a multi-faith program—ministers, priests, imams, rabbis, and more, make up the Chaplaincy. While each Army Chaplain is a clergy person in their specific denomination or faith group and won’t be asked to perform services or duties outside of their denomination, their role is to promote spirituality and faith as a whole, and serve all Soldiers, regardless of background and religion.