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Need some advice.

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mrterrydixon
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Need some advice.

Postby mrterrydixon Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:23 pm

I have mentioned this to my recruiter and have not gotten any real sound advice so I thought I would try here. It is my plan to go through OCS, hopefully get a branch I want/like, use the tuition assistance to get my Masters in Divinity, put in my time (I suppose 4-5years), then re-up to become a Chaplain. Is this a feasible plan? I figured being a part of the "real" Army would be good experience when relating to soldiers. In addition, for financial reasons, going active duty works out best for my family. I had thought about going through the Chaplain Candidate program, but am not in position to really make that work. Any advice would be appreciated.
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MiNcO
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Postby MiNcO Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:09 pm

Check out this link http://www.goarmy.com/chaplain/requirements.jsp

Here are the requirements to be a chaplain:

1. You must obtain an ecclesiastical endorsement from your faith group. This endorsement should certify that you are:
1. A clergy person in your denomination or faith group.
2. Qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually and emotionally to serve as a Chaplain in the Army.
3. 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 Army.
2. Educationally, you must:
1. Possess a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours.
2. Possess a graduate degree in theological or religious studies, plus have earned at least a total of 72 semester hours in graduate work in these fields of study.
3. Applicants for active duty or the National Guard MUST be U.S. citizens. Permanent residents can ONLY apply for the Army Reserve.
4. Be able to receive a favorable National Agency Security Clearance.
5. Pass a physical exam at one of our Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS).
6. A minimum of two years of full-time professional experience, validated by the applicant’s endorsing agency (This requirement is not applicable to Army Reserve applicants).
7. Must be at least 21 years of age at time of appointment. No applicants are accepted at the age of 50 or above. Applicants aged over 42 should contact a regional chaplain recruiter for the latest age waivers being granted for chaplains and chaplain candidates.

The area highlighted in bold may be a problem unless you have already done some ministerial work. Try calling the Chaplain branch and see if your plan is feasible.
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mrterrydixon
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Postby mrterrydixon Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:36 pm

Thanks for the input. I did speak with someone and he said that it is feasible but I would probably be cutting it close for the cutoff age. I need to be a few years younger. :)
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Lionheart
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Postby Lionheart Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:01 pm

I don't think the chaplain corps would look highly on someone with an online MDiv. This is one of those areas where there's no shortcuts. If you want to be a minister you need to do it after your time in the Army.
...racist homophobes who talk like kind of victorian steampunk neo-nazi get no free pass for being \'misguided.\' - The Badger
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Wifey
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Postby Wifey Fri Oct 23, 2009 5:11 pm

I don't think it matters whether you sit in a chair and do the work in a classroom or online, but you do have to get so much "experience" before certain faiths will endorse you. I have several chaplain friends, and wannabe chaplain friends. It is feasible, but not entirely easy to do everything you want to do. You have to find a place to get experience while serving and find time to do the MDiv work and keep up with your current AD job. (we have a friend who is doing this now, but he knows he won't deploy for 2-3 years)

My husband is ordained and the only job he's ever had before the Army was that of minister. He has seriously considered the chaplain corps, but would need to finish up an MDiv while on active duty to not have a break in service. Honestly, we've thought about it and talked about it and it would be extremely difficult to pull off, plus there is no TA, like there is with the chaplain candidate program.

If you really want to be a chaplain, just suck up the financial wait and do the chaplain candidate thing. You get paid full-time in the summer. And you come in at CPT. Just my .02.

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