ACCC Military Chaplain Specialization

Prerequisites to Application:

· BCC for at least one year with a VA approved board certifying body (ACCC, SCA, BCCI, NAVAC, and NACC). Documentation of a minimum 50 total hours (5 CEUs) of military, chaplaincy, and counseling CEUs since entering military service (not including your branch of service initial chaplain training). Please note, you must join ACCC – we will recognize your board certification from one of the above organizations. Click here to learn more.

· Endorsed for military chaplain ministry by a DOD recognized chaplain ecclesiastical endorsing body.

· Three Year(s) of military service at 03 or above.


Military Chaplains will demonstrate the ability to:

· Articulate the legal foundations for chaplains serving in the US military.

· Demonstrate a clear understanding and consistent practice of the chaplain’s role as advisor to their command on moral, ethical, religion and morale issues.

· Exemplify in practice and be able to discuss in depth the principle of chaplain confidentiality in the military and its importance in the rank structured military environment.

· Integrate learning from attained levels of Primary Military Education (PME) into their theory of Spiritual/Religious Leadership.

· Articulate DOD/Joint-Service doctrine and guidance related to Religious Support (RS) and Religious Support Team (RST) expectations in a joint environment.

· Demonstrate their ability to successfully integrate their endorser’s doctrinal tenants and faith traditions in a pluralistic military environment.

· Discuss in depth how they balance their role as spiritual/religious leader and that of a staff officer, integrating appropriate spiritual authority and military rank.

· Function as mentors to chaplains junior to them. Articulate their theory and practice of mentorship as it relates to junior chaplains, being mentored by a senior chaplain, mentoring Service Members (SMs) of all ranks and mentoring their enlisted assistants.

· Express with clarity their role within the Command in religious accommodation requests.

· Demonstrate the ability to work and professionally cooperate with a diverse chaplain population while maintaining personal doctrinal integrity.

· Provide effective leadership and supervision to assigned chapels and chapel services including assigned military/civilian staff and volunteers.

· Provide coordination and leadership to spiritual care during mass-casualty events (actual and training).

· Discuss their method and practice of spiritual assessment in a military context and demonstrate its consistent use in their practice.

· Describe the metric you use to determine when a Service Member in your care should be referred to another professional in or outside chaplaincy.

· Identify and communicate the signs and symptoms of mental/behavioral health issues common in the military community. Promote bi-directional referrals with mental/behavioral health as well as other professionals.

· Discuss your current plan to provide moral/ethical leadership training to your unit.

· Demonstrate a personal growth and development plan that includes spiritual, professional military, professional chaplaincy, and relational growth as well as an intentional plan to build and maintain personal resilience.

· Articulate your understanding and role of Religious Support during Department of Defense (DOD) Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) operations. Discuss the constraints placed on military chaplains during DSCA operations and how do these constraints impact your scope of practice.

Requirements for Application:

1. BCC for at least one year prior to application for specialty certification.

2. 3 letters of recommendation: One from current or most recent military supervisory chaplain detailing observed competencies (see list above) and required military experience, one from an officer (non-chaplain) 04 or above currently serving with the applicant, and one from the applicant’s Endorser.

3. Completed supervisory chaplain competency observation form (Highly Recommended).

4. Thoroughly written answers to the following questions: (All answers should be type written, Times New Roman or Arial font and double spaced. While we are not looking for a specific length, the applicant should endeavor to answer thoughtfully and thoroughly. Answers lacking depth and completeness may be returned for rewrite, thus delaying the application process.)

a. Thoroughly discuss your calling as a military chaplain and how it has evolved since your entrance to military service.

b. Clearly define your theology of ministry to military forces. (Include references to your Endorser’s key tenants or statement of faith.) Explain how the key tenants of your faith group empower your military ministry and how they may create potential stumbling blocks in a pluralistic environment.

c. Clearly define your philosophy of ministry to military forces. (Include appropriate doctrinal references from Endorser and your branch of service.)

d. What is your understanding of moral injury? What is it? What causes it. As a military chaplain, how do your minister to someone with it? How do you integrate with mental/behavioral health in order to ensure your service members receive comprehensive care?

e. Explain your understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how it is different from moral injury. How is your approach to spiritual care different from ministering to someone with moral injury? How do you integrate with mental/behavioral health professionals to ensure your service members receive comprehensive care?

f. Fully describe in detail how you integrate your faith tradition in your service’s pluralistic environment without violating either. (Please use case study/verbatim format to provide an actual example.)

g. Discuss your strengths and growth edges in being a military religious/spiritual leader and your strengths and growth edges in being a staff officer. Detail your current efforts to seek/obtain mentorship/coaching in the areas of your growth edges.

h. Describe your current relationship with your military chaplain mentor.

i. Describe your current efforts to mentor/coach chaplains junior to you.

j. How do you balance the tension between being a military religious/spiritual leader and a staff officer? How does/has this tension evolve as you progress in your career (Point of Delivery Religious Support/Tactical – 03, Supervisory/Operational – 04, Sr. Operational – 05, and Sr. Operational/Strategic – 06).

k. Describe your understanding of your role in “advising” the Command. How does this role change as you advance in your career? (Tactical – Operational – Strategic)

l. If you are currently in a supervisory role, discuss how you have grown since your entry into military chaplaincy as a “Point Of Delivery” (POD) chaplain. If you are not in a supervisory role, discuss what you perceive will be your growth edges to succeed as a supervisory chaplain. Include a copy of your current personal development plan (developed in conjunction with your mentor).

m. Explain how you integrate your leadership model and theology of pastoral care with your current scope of practice and how does that integration impact your philosophy of supervision. (If you are not currently serving in a supervisory role, explain how you plan integrate leadership model and theology of pastoral care and their impact to your philosophy of supervision.)

n. Fully discuss your understanding of Religious Support (RS) in a DSCA environment, including its unique RS opportunities, risks as well as DOD constraints.

o. Describe in detail your current plan to train your unit on moral/ethical leadership.

p. Describe your current Chapel responsibilities, including supervision of other military member and/or military/civilian volunteers.

5. Application Packets:

 a. Must be complete at the time of submission. Incomplete packets will be returned.

b. Application fee must be paid at the time of submission.

c. Application packet contents:

 i. Application form

ii. Application fee payment

iii. Candidates written answers to questions.

iv. Supervisory Chaplain letters of recommendation.

v. Supervisory Chaplain Competency Observation Form. (Highly Recommended)

vi. 04 or above (currently serving with) recommendation letter.

vii. Endorser recommendation letter.

viii. Documentation of military service.

ix. Documentation of CEUs post entrance to military service.