ACC Crest
A Summary of the Recruiting Process

If you are discerning a call to military chaplaincy, either as an already-ordained cleric, or a lay person pursuing ordination, then you’ve come to the right place to find out more information.

Military Chaplaincy is an exciting, busy, energizing and energetic ministry of presence and sacrament. Upon enrolment in the military chaplain family, you will be trained and expected to minister to military members just like you.  There are two main streams of military chaplaincy in the Canadian Armed Forces:  full-time ministry in the Regular Force, and part-time ministry in the Reserve Force.  The process for each is laid out below.

REGULAR FORCE CHAPLAINCY

Candidates for chaplaincy in the Regular Force will join the Canadian Armed Forces on a full-time basis and will sign terms of service for a period of years.  Regular Force chaplains minister on and in bases, wings, and formations, serving the needs of the military members and families who are posted to that location.  They may also serve as honorary assistant clergy in parishes near the base where they work.  There are 27 bases, wings, and formations across Canada, including the naval dockyards in Halifax and Esquimalt, Army garrisons in Edmonton, Petawawa, and Valcartier, air wings from Gander to Trenton to Comox, and a number of support bases and higher headquarters across the country (and even some international headquarters).  Regular Force chaplains may be expected to deploy with the units they serve in for training exercises or on domestic or overseas operations. Some may go to sea with the Canadian Fleet. Some will oversee the worship and care of military families as faith community coordinators of the military chapels/spiritual centres.  You can expect to be posted every few years, you will be challenged physically and at times, spiritually, and you will find that there are things for which seminary simply never prepared you. All these things will be experienced from within a team that will support you, cheer you on, and form family to you in a way that is unique to military service. As you reach certain milestones in your service, you will also be given opportunities for professional development and further education, including post graduate studies.

Those interested in Regular Force (full-time) chaplaincy are invited to contact the Canon Recruiter to enquire about next steps. The Canon Recruiter may refer the potential applicant to the Bishop Ordinary for a conversation and/or to the regional recruiter, who will provide a set of forms to be completed by the applicant, the bishop of their diocese, and three clergy and lay referees.  The Bishop Ordinary will make an assessment about the candidate and will make a recommendation to the Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy on whether to provide an endorsement.  The candidate will be required to sit a selection board.  Successful applications will receive a mandate from the Chaplain General to the Canadian Armed Forces and will be enrolled at the rank of Captain.

RESERVE FORCE CHAPLAINCY

Candidates for chaplaincy in the Reserve Force will join the Canadian Armed Forces on a part-time basis.  Reserve Force chaplains minister in units of the Army and Naval Reserve and supplement chaplain teams on Air Force wings.  There are 225 Reserve chaplain positions across the country, the majority of which are in local communities as Army Reserve Armouries or Naval Reserve Divisions.  A Reserve Force chaplain continues to work in their civilian ministry context (parish, chaplaincy, etc) and takes on additional ministry in the chaplaincy.  Most Reserve Force chaplaincy requires one or two evenings a week training with the members of the unit, and possibly a weekend each month when the unit goes to the field for a training exercise (accommodations are made for chaplains who must return to their parish for Sunday).  While Reserve Force chaplains remain with their units and are not posted or deployed like Regular Force chaplains, a Reservist may elect to deploy on a domestic or foreign operation or take a temporary full-time position on a base supporting the Regular Force team.  Reserve Force chaplains are not usually required to provide much liturgical leadership in a Reserve unit but will often be asked to participate in local commemorations of events such as Remembrance Day, Vimy Day, Battle of the Atlantic Sunday, D-Day, Battle of Britain, and other unit-specific commemorations.  You will be challenged physically and at times, spiritually, and you will find that there are things for which seminary simply never prepared you. All these things will be experienced from within a team that will support you, cheer you on, and form family to you in a way that is unique to military service. As you reach certain milestones in your service, you will also be given opportunities for professional development and further education.

Those interested in Reserve Force (part-time) chaplaincy are invited to contact the Canon Recruiter to enquire about next steps. The Canon Recruiter may refer the potential applicant to the Bishop Ordinary for a conversation and/or to the regional recruiter, who will provide a set of forms to be completed by the applicant, the bishop of their diocese, and three clergy and lay referees.  The Bishop Ordinary will make an assessment about the candidate and will make a recommendation to the Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy on whether to provide an endorsement.  The candidate will be required to sit a selection board.  Successful applications will receive a mandate from the Chaplain General to the Canadian Armed Forces and will be enrolled at the rank of Captain.

COMMON ENROLMENT REQUIREMENTS

In general, applicants must be physically and medically fit (assessments of both are made before enrolment), able to pass an aptitude test, and meet educational and experience requirements.  As citizens of Canada, and priests* in the Anglican Church of Canada with a Baccalaureate, a Master of Divinity (or its equivalent as assessed by the Chaplain Service), and two years of full-time diocesan ministry, applicants may apply for consideration to both the Regular and Reserve Force as military chaplains called to serve military members at home and on operations. As postulants of a diocese, you also have the opportunity to apply for programs which can help you to complete your university degree, and, in some cases, will result in your enrolment in the Regular or Reserve Force as a Military Chaplain in training following ordination. Either way, the first step is to speak to your Diocesan Bishop, and then to contact the Chaplain Recruiter. We look forward to hearing from you, and will be pleased to work with you and your Diocesan Bishop as you consider this call.

*While the majority of applicants are priests in the Anglican Church of Canada, there are other recruiting options for those entering into seminary.  If you feel a vocation to military chaplaincy and are not a priest, contact the Canon Recruiter to discuss options.

AFTER ENROLMENT

Chaplains come with many of their professional skills already in place, but training will be provided in the first two years through the following courses:  Basic Military Officer Qualification, Basic Occupational Qualification, Chaplain Counselling Skills, Chaplain Ethics, and Deployed Operations.  These courses are run at the Canadian Forces Recruit and Leadership School in St-Jean, QC, or the Canadian Forces Chaplain School and Centre at CFB Borden, near Barrie, ON.  Regular Force chaplains will be expected to achieve a second official language profile (French/English courses are provided).

CONTACT THE CANON RECRUITER

LCol the Rev. Canon Marc Torchinsky
Email the Canon Recruiter here.

 

Please feel free to download this PDF Brochure containing Recruitment Information.

Read more about “A Day in the Life” of a variety of Anglican chaplains in different ministry contexts (Navy, Army, Air Force, with recruits, etc).

Visit the Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting site for Chaplains