You are cordially invited to a panel discussion on the topic of

Improving Civ-Mil Relations for a Stronger Military Chaplaincy

with panelists

Chaplain (LTC) Karen Meeker
Army War College Fellow
Institute of World Politics
“The Readiness of the Army Chaplaincy: Our Sacred Honor”

Dr. Steve Keith
Executive Director
Center for Chaplaincy
Liberty University

John H. Lea III
CAPT, Chaplain, USN (Ret.)
Executive Director
National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF)

Rev. Susan Lammert
Incoming President, National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces
Endorser, Unitarian Universalist

Kenneth Bush
Chaplain (Colonel) US Army (Ret.)
Director of Training, Programs and Research
National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces


Tuesday, May 10
12:30 PM Refreshments
1:00 PM Panel Discussion
2:30 PM Conclusion

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036



MeekerCriteria established by the Department of Defense for the appointment of military chaplains helps shape theological study and the development of religious leaders in the United States.

Twice in the past century, the war-time need for chaplains significantly changed such criteria for those appointments. At the turn of the 20th century, civilian religious leaders collaborated to establish degree requirements eventually producing an accredited “gold standard” for graduate theological studies for clergy. At the turn of the 21st century, however, the Armed Forces Chaplain Board (AFCB) lowered appointment standards for religious ministry professionals appointed in the military.

In the first case in the 1900’s, the quality of chaplains increased. In the latter case in the early 2000’s, Army readiness declined with the lower standards. In the first instance, civilian religious leaders worked in conjunction with the military. In the second, an engaged civilian-military (civ-mil) dialogue was lacking.

In today’s complex military environment nested within religious and cultural change, the need for an enhanced civ-mil partnership between the AFCB and those who endorse candidates for appointment to the military chaplaincy is paramount for achieving the necessary readiness of the Army Chaplaincy.