The mission of the Indiana Guard Reserve Chaplain Service is to provide opportunities for the free exercise of religion to the Indiana Guard Reserve community through worship, rites, religious education, visitation, pastoral counseling, and responsiveness to individual religious needs. The religious needs of the Indiana Guard Reserve Community determine our chaplaincy requirements. The Office of the Command Chaplain coordinates these needs with religious faith groups and denominations recognized by the Armed Forces Chaplains Board (AFCB) of the Department of Defense (DOD). Clergy appointed as chaplains serve the pluralistic religious needs of the personnel of the Indiana Guard Reserve.
Chaplains in the IGR care for the spiritual well being of IGR personnel, members of the MDI such as the Indiana National Guard, Indiana Air National Guard and families along with civilians in times of need. IGR Chaplains are spiritual leaders, and they can be called upon to perform religious ceremonies from births and baptisms, confirmations and marriages, to illness and last rites, and to provide spiritual support in time of crisis or disaster.
IGR Chaplains must attend IGR Basic Training and the Officer Basic Course. In addition IGR Chaplains must achieve appropriate Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) certification according to rank. This training provides Chaplains and Chaplain Candidates the skills to apply their civilian chaplain and pastoral skills in the IGR.
Individuals applying as chaplains must present evidence of ordination or its equivalent within their faith group. Such evidence may be in the form of an ordination certificate or other document issued by competent authority in their faith group. In the case of Chaplain Candidates, they must provide certification from their faith group that they are currently approved candidates for ordination or its equivalent and are actively pursuing studies towards credentialing.
A chaplain is a representative of a religious body and a commissioned officer in the Indiana Guard Reserve. All Chaplains are endorsed by and represent a religious body recognized by the AFCB. This endorsement certifies that a person qualified to represent a specific faith group that believes in God and is a fully ordained or qualified priest, rabbi, or minister. Religious agencies must provide new chaplain endorsements prior to initial appointment in the IGR, or upon a change of denominational affiliation or status of clergy.
A chaplain must possess 120 credit hours of undergraduate credits (or the equivalent) from an accredited college of university. This requirement cannot be waived. A chaplain should also possess a Master of Divinity degree (or the equivalent) from an approved Theological Seminary. This requirement may be waived providing the chaplain has served five (5) continuous years of pastoral duties or taught three (3) semesters in a school of theology.
Chaplains having prior military service should submit copies of their Form DD-214 or equivalent, records of awards and promotions, and service-related schools attended. In addition, pertinent correspondence course completion certificates should be included.
Individuals should submit relevant civilian certifications such as FEMA course completion certificates, first aid/CPR qualifications, and special qualifications (e.g. non-clergy professional qualifications, radio operator's permits, etc.)
All chaplaincy applicants will be personally interviewed by the Command Chaplain in addition to other standard IGR interviews.
Special Staff Assistants/Chaplain Assistants Qualifications
This specialty is open to men and women of high moral character, who are not ordained clergy but wish to provide religious support for the IGR and its missions; and, in the case of Staff Assistants, have specific skills needed by the Chaplain Corps. After completing IGR Basic Training, Special Program Assistants and Chaplain Assistants attend courses on how to support the religious ministry and how to respond to individuals during their times of personal crisis. Chaplain Assistants also perform administrative duties for the Chaplain. Special Staff Assistants/Chaplain Assistants must achieve appropriate Military Emergency Management Specialist (MEMS) certification according to rank.
Individuals applying for service must present evidence that they are in good standing in their faith group, and that they currently are not subject to discipline of revocation of credentials by that group. This may be in the form of a letter or endorsement from a competent authority in their faith group certifying that they have not been disciplined, under suspension or under any sort of investigation.
Individuals applying for service must present diplomas or certificates of relevant post-secondary education, in particular, theological training.
Applicants having prior military service should submit copies of their Form DD-214 or equivalent, records of awards and promotions, and service-related schools attended. As well, pertinent correspondence course completion certificates should be included.
Applicants should submit relevant civilian certifications such as FEMA, course completion certificates, first aid/CPR qualifications, and special qualifications (e.g. non-clergy professional qualifications, radio operator's permits, etc.)
The Command Chaplain or his designee will personally interview all individuals applying for service as Chaplain Assistants or Special Staff Assistants. Chaplain Assistants must also be able to type at least 20 words per minute and possess a valid driver's license.
The IGR Chaplain Corps is recruiting Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants, and Special Staff Assistants for volunteer service to our State. Please visit our "Join Us!" page to learn how to apply.