Advanced Standing for Military Chaplains

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Since 2006, Gordon-Conwell has been pleased to provide qualified military chaplains with advanced standing in our Doctor of Ministry program.

Advanced standing enables chaplains to join their quality military training with the renowned theological education of Gordon-Conwell by attending two residencies, instead of three, and paying eight quarters of tuition, instead of twelve. Advanced training through the military is necessary for eligibility:

  • Army – C4
  • Navy – JPME
  • Air Force – Completion of the Spiritual Leadership Course and Squadron Officer School

Study Program

Through three specialized residencies, Pastoral Theology in Practice addresses three keys to effective ministry; proclaiming the Word, deepening the Call, and caring for the Flock.

Advanced standing provides credit towards one residency, allowing the chaplain to choose which two to focus on. Apply for the starting point that consecutively completes the two preferred residencies. Exception applies for deployment. 

English Entry Points are every  year: Charlotte (February), Hamilton (October), and US-UK (odd year residencies in Hamilton, even years in the UK). Each entry point begins a new cohort, switching from one cohort to another is not allowed.


Proclaiming the Word

Deepening the Call

Caring for the Flock

2019   US-UK &Hamilton Charlotte
2020 Charlotte & US-UK   Hamilton
2021 Hamilton Charlotte US-UK
2022   US-UK & Hamilton Charlotte

Spanish Entry Point: First Residency 8/5-8/16/2019

2019 Deepening the Call 2020 Proclaiming the Word 2021 Caring for the Flock




Application Requirements

All application materials are available on our website, both as .pdf downloads and online. Chaplains may submit an abbreviated application; shorter essays and one recommendation instead of three. Requirements for official transcripts, the application fee, and a current ministry context letter of endorsement remain.

Proof of completion of advanced training through the military must also be submitted; this can be in official copies of training records or a confirmation letter from a commanding officer.

Advanced Standing Project

Approval to advanced standing is required prior to the second residency. Dr. Alan “Blues” Baker serves as the chaplain advanced standing mentor in our Pastoral Theology in Practice track.

Chaplains may count reading and submit written work done as part of their advanced chaplain training to fulfill this assignment. This assignment requires the completion of a project, including an annotated bibliography for approximately 2,000 pages of reading from the omitted residency and an advanced standing project, as shown in the samples below. 

Proclaiming the Word

A combination of assignments from the preaching residency (pre- and post-residency) will be required, including submitting outlines of two sermons on specified texts, and utilizing group evaluations.

Deepening the Call

A paper reflecting a personal leadership theology; geared to reflecting and examining intentionally personal development and areas of needed growth as a leader. Insights from psychological assessment instruments done with advanced ministry training may be included in the paper.

Caring for the Flock

A case study handled in your capacity as a chaplain on a pastoral counseling issue. Guidelines for the case study will follow those required in the syllabus in preparation for the residency.