Military Chaplaincy, Part 4


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Hebrews 13:3 which says, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Augustine. He said, “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: Military Chaplaincy (Part 4)

— Accessions

When it comes to accessions (taking office and being employed in the military), chaplains are considered “professional officers,” as are doctors and lawyers. That means chaplains receive direct commissions as officers without the necessity of going to a military academy, an officer candidate commissioning program, or being in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) during their undergraduate schooling.

Anyone with prior military service who has earned Government Issue (GI) educational benefits may use those benefits to secure a theological degree at an Association of Theological Schools accredited seminary. However, unlike the tuition programs available to professional officers such as doctors and lawyers, there is no current program to finance theological education fully for chaplain candidates across all branches of the services. As of this writing, some branches (such as the Army) that have a greater need for chaplains do provide limited tuition assistance for seminarians who are commissioned chaplain candidates. In large part, that is a product of supply and demand when it comes to having willing chaplain prospects; some branches need more chaplains than there are applicants. Additionally, when certain religious groups, such as Roman Catholic priests or minorities, are underrepresented in military chaplaincy, there may be incentive exceptions offered.

With no denominational quota requirement for chaplains at present, prospective chaplains are approved on a “fully qualified” basis from their religious endorsing body and a “best qualified” basis by the accessions board of the military branch in question. Being a member of a denominationally, racially, or ethnically underrepresented group is typically a benefit to a prospective chaplain. Having any prior military experience, including being a chaplain candidate while in seminary, is also helpful. Any experience above the minimum requirements, such as an MDiv rather than an MA, additional masters or doctoral degrees, or more than two years of ministerial or chaplaincy experience, will almost certainly gain points with the accession board. Holding additional training—such as some formal and accredited Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)—or credentials—such as being a licensed therapist—might also increase one’s chances for accession. The educational institution from which one receives a theological education is also sometimes a tie-breaker between candidates—for example, a seminary with a specific concentration in chaplaincy and a reputation for graduating solid, successful military chaplains. A prudent prospective chaplain should make inquiry about the current accession criteria directly to the chaplain recruiter of the branch in which he or she is interested. Sometimes a candidate can obtain a waiver for particular concerns (e.g., a prior existing medical conditions), and if those concerns are addressed prior to applying for employment, with the exception granted in writing, that applicant is more likely to be accessed. Just as any job applicant in any field should, the prospective military chaplain would do well to compose a detailed résumé and choose personal and professional references carefully in order to highlight anything that could improve the chances of being accepted.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

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— PRAYER —

If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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