Forum on the Military Chaplaincy

committed to free and diverse religious expression

  • Held three-day conference at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas to plan for new initiative, “Pathways to Military Chaplaincy” to be held in 2016. There were 21 participants including, Chaplains, Endorsers, veterans, and theological professors. Produced detailed report of next steps to attract more progressive and moderate seminaries and students to careers as military chaplains.
  • For the first time, attended the annual meeting in Washington D.C.of the National Conference to Ministry to the Armed Forces, the umbrella organization for all ecclesiastical endorsers. Two members staffed a display table and provided educational materials about the Forum and its work. Met with the Air Force and Navy Chiefs of Chaplains at the conference. Also met with allied organizations to coordinate our efforts.
  • For the first time, attended the annual meeting of the Association of Professional Chaplains in Anaheim, California. Staffed a display table, providing information about the Forum, including new report on the “Pathways to Military Chaplaincy.” Met with LGBT caucus and explained Forum mission.
  • Attended Association of Clinical Pastoral Education Conference in Austin, Texas.
  • Provided information about the issue of religious liberty and conscience protection to a number of reporters leading to articles quoting Forum members.
  • Assisted members of Congress in preparing for committee hearings addressing the issues of religious accommodation and conscience protection.
  • Provided submissions for the Congressional record on religious accommodation.
  • Assisted Chaplains who lost their endorsement because they were found to be LGBT. Referred them to affirming endorsers thereby saving their military careers.
  • Forum members continue to write articles to address major issues facing the military chaplaincy including rejection of Humanist chaplain candidate, religious accommodation, alleged religious persecution, discriminatory legislation, marriage equality, and the treatment of LGBT service members and their families.
  • Supported expanding the pluralistic nature of the chaplaincy and the Constitutional right under the First Amendment of religious freedom by recommending the appointment of the first Humanist Chaplain.
  • Provided input to the DoD in revising DoD Instruction 1300.7-Accomodation of Religious Practice within the Military Services.
  • Coordinated with allied organizations on issue of religious liberty and attempts by ultra conservative members of Congress to continue to modify DoD regulations to give immunity to those who claim religious liberty and conscience protection allows them to openly criticize LGBT service member and their families.
  • Bring attention to the lowering of accession standards for chaplain candidates graduating from Liberty University with an online 72 hour Masters of Divinity degree.
  • Formed committee to lead and organize” Pathways to Military Chaplaincy” Conference in 2016, likely to be held at Boston University, headed by two distinguished seminary professors, Larry Graham and Shelly Rambo.
  • Held numerous meetings with endorsers, military leaders, high-ranking chaplains and allies.

Featured Posts

“Pathways to Military Chaplaincy” Report

“Pathways to Military Chaplaincy” Report

The Forum on the Military Chaplaincy provided leadership for a consultation entitled “Pathways to Military Chaplaincy” held at Boston University School of Theology April 8-9, 2016. We are pleased to provide the summary and report from that very successful consultation.

DoD Lifts Ban on Transgender Service.

DoD Lifts Ban on Transgender Service.

The Department of Defense has lifted the long standing ban on service by transgender citizens. This has been a thoroughly researched and vetted decision. The Department has issued both a press release and a memo on the new policy.

Answering the Question of Transgender Showering

Answering the Question of Transgender Showering

This issue of what shower transgender service members should use to respect privacy was considered by a distinguished commission before the policy was changed. Transgender Shower Guidelines provide this information and should prove helpful to a chaplain or commander who may have to deal with this issue