Looking For Financial Assistance?

See our list of partner schools that offer generous financial assistance to students pursuing the Army Chaplaincy.

How To Join

Read about the steps you have to take to join the U.S. Army as a Chaplain or a Chaplain Assistant.

Army Chaplain Corps
Army chaplains talking

Join While Still Studying For The Ministry

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 you are training for the ministry. The training and experience you will receive as a Chaplain Candidate will be a rich adjunct to your ministerial education and training.  All Chaplain Candidates are commissioned officers assigned to the Army Reserve in the Chaplain Branch.

Should you decide to become an Army Chaplain, by participating in the Chaplain Candidate Program (CCP), you will have a head start on entering the Army as a Chaplain, as well as enjoying the many benefits and privileges associated with being an Army officer.

Chaplain Basic Officer Leadership Course

All Chaplain Candidates are encouraged to attend Chaplain Basic Officers Leadership Course (CHBOLC). CHBOLC is 12 weeks long and is offered three times a year (winter, summer and fall). Normally a candidate does the first half of CHBOLC (Chaplain Initial Military Training/CIMT and Phase 1) as soon as possible since it is a prerequisite for all other training in the CCP. Once half way through their qualifying degree, Chaplain Candidates can complete Phases II and III. Candidates who enter the CCP after the half-way point of their graduate program may complete all of CHBOLC at once.

Paid Practicums

A Chaplain Candidate may train up to 30 days each year under the supervision of a senior chaplain at a military installation. This training, called a "practicum," is offered to all candidates once they have completed Phase 1 of CHBOLC.

Practicums vary in type and location.  They include broad based experiences at active duty installations, West Point's summer camp, ROTC's CEdet summer camp, Army Reserve Commands, garrison ministries, combat ministries, medical training and administrative support.

Practicums, which may vary in length from a minimum of 12 days to 30 days may be done at most any time of the year.

Chaplain Candidate Requirements

To be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Obtain an ecclesiastical approval from your denomination or faith group.
  • Educationally, you must:
    • Possess a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours (College seniors can apply before completion of their undergraduate program).
    • Be a full-time graduate student at an accredited seminary or theological school.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • Be able to receive a favorable National Agency Security Clearance.
  • Pass a physical exam at one of our Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS).
  • Must be at least 18 years of age and not older than 36 years of age at time of commissioning.

ROTC Education Delay Program For Chaplaincy Studies

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 become an Army Chaplain.

  1. Cadets normally apply for an education delay at the same time and on the same form (FORM 67-9) that they use 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.
  2. Once a cadet is granted an Education Delay by USA Cadet Command (USACC), the cadet then contacts an Army Chaplain Recruiting Team (CRT) in order to submit an application packet for a Chaplain Candidate Accessions Board.  Should the cadet not be accessed by this board, or should the cadet neglect to submit an application for accessing, the cadet would then be branched by USACC in accordance to their original obligation.
  3. Once a cadet is accessed as a Chaplain Candidate, they are entitled to all the benefits of and responsibilities of the CCP except Tuition Assistance.  Cadets can contact their PMS, the Chaplain Candidate Manager or a Chaplain Recruiter.