Military Career: Religious Program Specialists
The military has personnel from many religions and faiths. The military provides chaplains and religious program specialists to help meet the spiritual needs of its personnel. Religious program specialists assist chaplains with religious services, religious education programs, and related administrative duties.
What They Do
Religious program specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
- Assist chaplains in planning and religious programs and activities
- Assist chaplains in conducting religious services
- Prepare religious, educational, and devotional materials
- Organize charitable and public service volunteer programs
- Maintain relations with religious communities and public service organizations
- Perform administrative duties for chaplains
Branches of the Military
Helpful school subjects include English, public speaking, accounting, and typing. Helpful attributes include:
- Ability to express ideas clearly
- Interest in administrative work
- Interest in religious guidance
- Knowledge of various religious customs and beliefs
- Sensitivity to the needs of others
Job training consists of 7 to 8 weeks of classroom instruction. Course content typically includes:
- Principles of religious support programs
- Guidance and counseling techniques
- Leadership skills
- Office procedures
The ability to speak clearly and distinctly is required to enter this occupation.
Religious program specialists in the military usually work indoors. They also serve aboard ships or with land and air units in the field.
Civilian religious program specialists help manage churches and religious schools. Their duties are similar to those performed by military religious program specialists, including planning religious programs and preparing religious educational materials. They are also called directors of religious activities.
Below is a list of similar civilian occupations:
The services have about 1,000 religious program specialists. Each year, they need new specialists due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, religious program specialists help chaplains and supervisors with administrative matters. With experience, they gain more responsibility for organizing activities and working in the local community. In time, they may supervise other specialists.
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Washington D.C.