What Navy Chaplains Do

The Navy Chaplaincy is a unique ministry--a diverse and exciting opportunity to bring spiritual values and guidance to the many men and women of the sea services. The Chaplain Corps offers you a future filled with possibilities.

Chaplain Corps officers are religious professionals in spiritual care. They work in collaboration with all Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard commands throughout the world to deliver religious ministry to active-duty personnel and their families. The areas of responsibility include:

  • Navy ships at sea, homeported in the continental United States and overseas;
  • Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units and chapels at home and around the world;
  • Navy hospitals near military bases;
  • Service academies and military training schools.

  Navy Chaplains conduct religious services, provide pastoral counseling, give spiritual leadership, supply religious education, facilitate the worship of faiths other than their own, serve men and women of many religious backgrounds, and work in a truly interfaith setting. Wherever assigned, you'll be a member of a highly professional, committed team.

  The Navy welcomes applicants who meet specific eligibility and educational requirements and who wish to begin the highly competitive process that leads to a commission in the Navy Chaplain Corps.

Navy Chaplain Candidate Program

If you’re in the process of starting or completing your graduate theological degree, you can potentially enter the Navy Chaplain Candidate Program as a student. Through this program, you can be commissioned as a Navy Officer while you finish your theological studies at an accredited seminary or graduate school.

The Navy Chaplain Candidate Program is a chance for seminary students to see real Navy Chaplains at work. You’ll be exposed to the challenges and rewards of working in the diverse situations that the Navy has to offer. Students may have on-the-job training wherever Navy Chaplains serve – at sea, at home or overseas.

As a Chaplain Candidate, you’ll wear the uniform and receive pay and benefits while on your annual training and not in school. You will truly get to experience what it is to serve as a Navy Chaplain. You’ll know for certain what this incredible experience is like and how it affects the men and women of the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

Program Benefits:

As a Navy Chaplain Candidate, you’ll receive on-the-job training under the direct supervision of a Navy Chaplain during summer breaks. This gives theological students an opportunity to go to the Fleet, to shadow Chaplains on ships, and to have hands-on ministry opportunities at places like Bethesda Naval Hospital or Naval Base San Diego. Completing the Chaplain Candidate Program qualifies you for significant pay advantages once you enter Active Duty.

After the Chaplain Candidate Program, prospective students are interviewed by the Chaplain Candidate Program Manager and by a Navy Recruiter. These prospects then go before the Selection Board to see if they meet all of the requirements of the Navy Chaplain Corps.

Downloadable Documents

If you would like to download printable documents that contain all of the information detailing the information about Navy Chaplains please click on the corresponding documents below. For individuals that are using mobile devices or do not have Microsoft office readily available we recommend downloading the Adobe PDF.

Word Document on Navy Chaplaincy

Adobe PDF on Navy Chaplaincy

Chaplain's Annual Report PDF

Memorandum of Instruction M19 event