For God and Country: Considering the Call to Military Chaplaincy

Brian Laurence Bohlman, Liberty University

Document Type Dissertation


Considering the call to ministry can be a difficult process. When one senses a call to ministry outside the traditional church setting, such as the military chaplaincy, there can be a greater deal of difficulty in discerning the call. The author writes from a Christian perspective and holds the premise that the vocation of military chaplaincy is a high and honorable calling from God.

This project examines the call to serve as a military chaplain in the United States Armed Forces among a group of fifteen seminary students. The majority of participants were students at Columbia International University. To assist these students in discerning a call to military chaplaincy, a three-session small group workshop was developed and held during the spring 2008 semester.

The goal of the students was to discern and demonstrate a clear call to military chaplaincy as they participated in the workshop. The goal of the workshop facilitator, who also helps recruit military chaplains, was to list and interpret the common factors and vocational motivations of the seminary students called to serve as military chaplains.

The dissertation explores the call to military chaplaincy as an act of ministry that involves an initial call from God, the confirmation of the Church, and the obedience of the person who says, “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8b). The author views Christian chaplains in the military as an extension of Christ’s ministry to all people and examines several Biblical texts that relate to the various aspects of the military chaplaincy and provide a Biblical basis for ministry.

The outcomes for this project will benefit military chaplain recruiters, vocational counselors, denominational endorsers of military chaplains, and any person who is considering the military chaplaincy as a vocation.