As a Navy Chaplain, you will be the voice of encouragement, reason and hope to thousands of Sailors and Marines, supporting and uplifting the brave men and women who have chosen to serve their country. The Navy Chaplain Corps boasts more than 800 Navy Chaplains from more than 100 different faith groups, including Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and many others.
As a Navy Chaplain, your job spans a broad range of duties. You will support fellow servicemembers during their most joyful and most difficult moments. Your responsibilities might be to:
- Conduct worship services in a variety of settings
- Perform religious rites and ceremonies such as weddings, funeral services and baptisms
- Counsel individuals who seek guidance
- Oversee religious education programs, such as Sunday school and youth groups
- Visit and provide spiritual guidance and care to hospitalized personnel and their family members
- Train lay leaders who conduct religious education programs
- Promote attendance at religious services, retreats and conferences
- Advise leaders at all levels regarding morale, ethics and spiritual well-being
PAY AND BENEFITS
From the day you start, you’ll receive:
- Competitive salary
- Free health insurance
- Free housing
- A retirement plan
- 30 days paid vacation per year
If you’re in the process of starting or completing your graduate theological degree, you could potentially enter the Navy Chaplain Candidate Program (CCPO) as a student.
Opportunities for continuing education are available through the Advanced Education Program while being paid full-time as a Navy Officer. Beyond professional credentials and certifications, Navy Chaplains can advance their education by:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Navy Tuition Assistance Program
- Pursuing opportunities at institutions such as Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) or Navy War College (NWC)
- Completing Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) at one of the various service colleges
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
- U.S. citizen or equivalent
- Graduate degree in theological or related studies from an accredited educational institution
- Have two years of full-time religious leadership experience
- Must be able to obtain an Ecclesiastical Endorsement from a religious faith organization registered with the Department of Defense
General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.
Navy Chaplains immerse themselves in the daily lives of service members. In what can be best described as a ministry of presence, they are there to offer guidance and insight in the moment, whenever they’re needed. You could provide support while on land or at sea, when presiding over religious ceremonies on a base or when conducting services from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.
There are part-time opportunities as a Navy Chaplain. Serving part-time as a Reserve Chaplain gives you the flexibility to minister in the Navy while maintaining responsibilities to your congregation at home.