My Journey To Chaplain Candidacy

You may be asking yourself, what exactly is a Chaplain Candidate. In the Army, all Chaplain Candidates are commissioned officers assigned to the Army Reserve in the Chaplain Branch where they receive training & mentorship in the Chaplaincy while completing seminary school. I’ve known for several years that the Lord was calling me into ministry but how I would arrive there was unknown to me. Six months ago, I didn’t even know the Army had a Chaplain Candidate program that gives you an opportunity to get hands on experience and train to become a Chaplain. As someone who is currently Enlisted and on Active Duty, I didn’t know what the process would look like for me. When I arrived at my current duty station, I let it be known to my leadership what my career goals are and they have been 100% supportive. I told them that I wanted to be a Chaplain but it wasn’t until I spoke with my unit’s Chaplain that he informed me of the Chaplain Candidate program. I listened to what he had to say about the program.

He put me in contact with someone who is currently in the program and I spoke with him for about an hour as he gave me the rundown on what to expect and some of the sacrifices his family had to make so he could devote himself to his seminary studies. He is married and has children, I’m married and I have children so I was definitely talking to someone who could relate to my position in life and the thought processes I have as a married man with kids. I gotta admit…He didn’t paint a pretty picture when describing what his life looked like. It was definitely something I had to pray about. I discussed everything with my wife and ultimately we came to the conclusion that this is the direction the Lord is leading us. Instead of worrying about finances, we communicated with one another that this is the direction the Lord is leading us and we decided to trust God and NOT worry.

If you are reading this and you have a desire to become a Chaplain Candidate, go talk to a CHAPLAIN RECRUITER. Not just any recruiter, A CHAPLAIN RECRUITER. They are the ones that will set you on the right path & tell you everything you need to do. A lot of the process is dependent upon how fast you can turn your paperwork in and do YOUR part and trust me, it’s A LOT of paperwork amongst many other things. You will also need Ecclesiastical Approval from your faith group. If you don’t understand what that means or what that is, just Google it or talk to a Chaplain recruiter.

I started my CC packet process in May 2015. I wasn’t able to complete my packet in time to make the August board because I procrastinated a bit too long on my paperwork so now my packet will be going to the board that meets in November. Even though I procrastinated, I’m actually happy about going to the November board. It gives my family and I more time to prepare to move, pending acceptance of course, and it gives us time to save money for the move.

There’s more to say but this post is long enough. If you have any questions, drop a comment and I’ll answer it to the best of my ability.

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  1. Cassandra Bruington says:

    KJ, I’m so excited and inspired by what God is doing for and through you, Kendra, and the girls.

    Thanks for sharing the journey!


    • KJ Henderson says:

      Thanks Cassie! I’m excited about what God is doing through your life as well. Ministry, business, school, etc. Keep up the good work!

  2. So now that some time has passed are you happy about you decision? Do you feel that you are still on the right path? Did you seek employment while you are in seminary? What denomination are you and seek your endorsement through? I know its a lot of questions I’m just interested in the program and want it know of it has been worth it for others as I’m nervous about it thank.

    • KJ Henderson says:

      CJ, I am happy about my decision to pursue Army Chaplaincy. I do work while in Seminary. I’m a nurse. It’s difficult juggling all of my responsibilities but His grace is sufficient. My endorsement is through IMF, International Ministerial Fellowship. If the Lord is leading you in that direction, the door will open and He’ll give you the grace to endure. I know I’m late on the reply, my apologies for that. I’ve neglected this blog and it’s difficult sifting through all of the spam comments to find the legitimate ones. It’s been 6 months now so have you gotten any clarity about pursuing the Chaplain Candidate program? Where do you stand with all of that at this point?

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