In the United States today, and perhaps around the world, when people think of the church, the ministries of Christian churches, and of Christian ministers, they commonly imagine local churches and the life and ministries of parochial or parish and congregational ministers. In fact there are a significant number of unique non-parochial (non-parish) ministry fields beyond the orbit of the local church - and distinct from traditional missionary ministry - where the church deploys ordained and lay ministers as well. The lay and ordained ministers who have been deployed throughout our history into these various fields are known as Chaplains. While the ministries provided by our Jurisdiction of the Armed Forces and Chaplaincy (JAFC) Priest, Deacon, and Lay Commissioned Chaplains are the same ministries as those provided by Anglican parochial ministers – worship, pastoral care, counsel, service, etc. - their day to day functioning as chaplains varies significantly from that of parochial ministers as a result of the unique contexts in which they serve.
Beyond their ordinations and commissionings, those who function as Chaplains are specially educated, trained, equipped, and deployed to serve in a variety of governmental and non-governmental institutional and non-institutional settings to include: hospital, hospice, and armed forces, as well as correctional and educational institutions, and a variety of other fields. Anglican Chaplains provide ministry around the world, e.g., on university campuses, on Naval war ships with Sailors and Marines, with U.S. Special Forces in Africa, with the hurting and grieving in hospitals and correctional facilities, with American Soldiers fighting in the Middle East, at US Air Force Bases in Europe and Asia, at rodeos, with bikers, with Civil Air Patrol cadets, in cities within refuse dumps in Latin America, and more. Chaplains live and work in challenging and sometimes austere and dangerous places, manifesting the light of the Incarnate Word and the love of Jesus Christ to those they serve.
Due to the highly specialized nature of chaplaincies and the unique populations chaplains serve, Anglican Chaplains are provided education, training, and formation to complement and augment typical ministerial education. This further
equipping includes an internship, a nine-month group study in Anglican history, theology, and ecclesiology, and a weeklong intensive in Anglican Liturgy. The process from pre-application to endorsement can take up to two years.
Why would someone want to serve as a chaplain? Who else will carry the Gospel and Love of God into these places? Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Chaplains go into all the world, suffering with those who suffer, rejoicing with those who rejoice, and making disciples everywhere they go.
Questions about Anglicanism?
Besides liturgy, what is Anglicanism about?
Anglicanism is an historic and biblical expression of the Christian faith. Anglicans hold a high view of the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. Anglicans believe in apostolic succession and the importance of episcopal church governance. To learn more about Anglicanism we recommend Bishop Mike Williams' excellent article,
How can I learn more about Anglicanism?
Although there are many study options, we suggest you start with our Education, Training, and Formation (ETF) site. There you will find informative articles, podcast episodes, book lists, and more. You can begin HERE with our "New to Anglicanism" page.
How do I start the process for endorsement as an
Fill out the form below and you will be contacted by our coordinator for a preliminary interview. Upon review, you may be asked to enter into a formation period, which includes a distance tutorial and being involved in an Anglican worshiping community. After further assessment, you may be ordained a transitional deacon or a permanent deacon. Ordination to the priesthood comes after some time as a transitional deacon.