OFFICER | Full Time, Part Time
Chaplains are responsible for fostering the religious and pastoral care of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families, regardless of religious affiliation.
A Chaplain has privileged access to all CAF members of all ranks, has no commanding authority, and is prohibited from bearing arms under the Geneva Conventions. Their responsibilities include:
A Chaplain can work in all military environments with members of the Navy, Army and the Air Force. Chaplains provide a ministry of presence and offer spiritual teaching programs. Ceremonies typically require the chaplain to offer prayers, and church services in public and unit parades. Liaison with other spiritual leaders in the civilian community is expected. Chaplains can work in Canada or may be required to go abroad during operations.
After being posted, you’ll prepare for basic training by completing two weeks of online Distance Learning, before beginning the 12 week intensive Basic Officer Military Qualification training programme at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Topics covered include general military knowledge, the principles of leadership, regulations and customs of the CAF, basic weapons safe handling, and first aid. Opportunities will also be provided to apply such newly acquired military skills in training exercises involving force protection, field training, navigation and leadership. A rigorous physical fitness program is also a vital part of basic training. Basic Officer Military Qualification training is provided in English or French, and successful completion is a prerequisite for further training.
Learn more about Basic Training here.
Additional training for Chaplains includes pastoral counselling and ethics.
Chaplains must be ordained or mandated by a nationally registered faith group, and have a Graduate professional degree in ministry formation (MDiv or equivalent). As part of the application, the Chaplain candidate must provide proof of support from the local faith group authority. They must also receive support from a representative of the Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy (ICCMC), the endorsement of the ICCMC and be selected by the Chaplain General. The ICCMC expects applicants to have at least two years of supervised experience in a civilian ministry.
If you already have a Graduate professional degree in ministry formation (MDiv or equivalent) and two years’ experience in a civilian ministry, the CAF may place you directly into the required on-the-job training program following basic training. Basic training and military officer qualification training are required before being assigned.
If you wish to become a Chaplain for the CAF, you can apply for Subsidized Education for Entry Level Masters (SEELM).
If you have a bachelor's degree in any discipline from a recognized Canadian university, the CAF will pay you to complete a Graduate professional degree in ministry formation (MDiv or equivalent) program at a Canadian university.
You will receive a salary, medical and dental care, and paid vacation. In exchange, you must work for the CAF for a period of time. To apply, you must have been accepted without condition to a graduate professional degree in ministry formation program at a Canadian university in a program recognized by the CAF.
For more information about entry plans and becoming a Chaplain, you may send an e-mail to ChaplainMain-AumoneriePrincipale@forces.gc.ca, or call 1-866-502-2203 between the hours of 7:00am to 5:00pm.
Learn more about our Paid Education programs here.
This position is available for part-time employment with the Primary Reserve at certain locations across Canada. Reserve Force members usually serve part time at Reserve Unit in their community, and may serve while going to school or working at a civilian job. They are paid during their training. They are not posted or required to do a military move. However, they may volunteer for deployment on a military mission within or outside Canada.
Chaplains may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army or the Royal Canadian Air Force and experience the unique challenges associated with these environments. They provide religious ministration and spiritual ministry to military members, regardless of religious affiliation. When they are employed on a part-time or casual full-time basis they usually serve at CAF bases, wings, home ports and units located in Canada.
Reserve Force members are trained to the same level as their Regular Force counterparts. They usually begin training with their home unit to ensure that they meet the required basic professional military standards. Basic training consists of two required components: basic officer training and basic occupational training. Additional courses may be available over the course of a Chaplain’s career.
Reserve Force members usually serve part-time with their home unit for scheduled evenings and weekends, although they may also serve in full-time positions at some units for fixed terms, depending on the type of work that they do. They are paid 92.8 percent of Regular Force rates of pay, receive a competitive benefits package and may qualify to contribute to a pension plan.