Project Documents

Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

James J. North, Jr.

Second Advisor

Martin W. Feldbush

Third Advisor

Keith Mattingly

Abstract

Problem. Military chaplains who are graduates of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program at Andrews University Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary (SDATS) will require enhanced military chaplaincy training to identify and cope with the rapidly changing needs of modern military chaplaincy. Information relating to the United States (US) Navy Chaplain Corps will be presented within this project to illustrate the broader need within the military chaplain community. The needs within the US Navy are largely due to the implementation of four programs: The revised Chaplain Command Program within Secretary of the Navy Instruction (SECNAVINST) 1730.8B, Professional Naval Chaplaincy within SECNAVINST 5351.1, Naval Combat Operational Stress Control (NCOSC), and Clinical Training for Combat Stress within the Professional Development Training Course (PDTC). US Navy Chaplain candidates are now required to screen for selection to active duty. A primary factor in this screening is the examination of the candidate’s professional education (see Appendices A and I) The move toward enhancing the current MDiv program at Andrews University SDATS with the latest in military chaplaincy instruction will create the possibility of producing a specialty degree from the existing military chaplaincy training. Graduates with this enhanced degree will achieve a sub-specialty code that will affect their professional selection and advancement opportunities and will make them more desirable as candidates. Several accredited theological seminaries throughout the country are in the process of shifting their MDiv programs from a broad scope of ministry to professionally-focused degrees in military chaplaincy (see Appendix C). Andrews University SDATS must not fall behind in this arena of education, so that its graduates can continue to be placed among the most highly trained chaplains in the military.

Results. The result of this project document will be the identification of enhanced professional requirements within the rapidly changing profession of military chaplaincy. The primary reference literature of the United States Navy Chaplain Corps describes the need for enhanced educational requirements within the new Professional Naval Chaplaincy (PNC) Instruction as shown in Appendices A and L-M. A primary factor in the screening of military chaplain candidates is the examination of the candidate’s professional education (see Appendices A and L). The move toward enhancing the current MDiv emphasis in chaplaincy at AU SDATS with the latest in military chaplaincy instruction will create the opportunity for a specialty degree. Graduates with this enhanced degree will achieve a sub-specialty code that will affect their professional selection and advancement opportunities and will make them more desirable as candidates. This specialized education will prepare students venturing forth into this increasingly complex field of military ministry with documented subspecialty education. The desired objective of this project document is to move Andrews University SDATS toward offering a Master of Divinity in Military Chaplaincy specialty degree that will provide these key advantages.

Conclusions. The current MDiv emphasis in chaplaincy at AU SDATS must be upgraded with the most recent teachable subject matter to avoid the danger of falling behind in this competitive educational arena. As demonstrated in Appendix C, other accredited seminaries in the United States are advertising Master of Divinity in Military Chaplaincy degrees. This project will demonstrate that enhancing military chaplaincy training within the existing Master of Divinity at AU SDATS will prepare graduates for professional, comprehensive ministry and make them more competitive for selection into the active chaplain corps ranks.

Subject Area

Military chaplains--Training of, Master of Divinity degree

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