If you are looking for a way to serve God and the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines of our country, then you are in the right place. The Graduate School of Theology is a place where you can prepare to serve as a Chaplain in the armed forces. Each branch and component has their own program requirements, but the one thing they have in common is that they need men and women who are appropriately trained for the job.
Effective August 2007, the Graduate School of Theology at Oklahoma Christian University became a partner with the Army National Guard and now sponsors the Chaplain Candidate Program. Current and prospective students who wish to serve as a Chaplain in the Army National Guard can now receive their Master of Divinity at the Graduate School of Theology tuition free.
Since that time, we have extended our efforts to accommodate all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and currently have students who are Chaplain Candidates from both the Army and the Air Force.
Requirements and benefits differ from branch to branch and from Active duty to Reserves and the National Guard. Here are the current requirements for the Army National Guard Chaplain Candidacy Program:
- Successful admission to the Graduate School of Theology's Master of Divinity program
- Successful admission to the Army National Guard Chaplain Candidacy program (this admission/assessioning process takes longer than admission to the OC Graduate School of Theology, so plan accordingly)
- Compliance with the Graduate School of Theology's Student Handbook on attendance, ethical/moral behavior, and academic standing
- Application for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA)
- Successful completion of the Master of Divinity at the Graduate School of Theology and graduation
How does the program work?
As a full-time student at the Graduate School of Theology, you enroll in nine credit hours per semester for a total of 18 credit hours per academic year. Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year was $400 per credit hour (or $7,200 for the year). Your Federal Tuition Assistance from the Army National Guard pays up to $4,500 of your tuition per year. The Graduate School of Theology pays the remaining $2,700 per year to cover your tuition costs while you earn your Master of Divinity.
When you begin drilling in the Army National Guard as a Chaplain Candidate, you can receive great experience and several additional benefits, including the Montgomery G.I. Bill (up to $20,000 in student loan repayment under the Chaplain Loan Repayment Program), drill pay to offset monthly expenses, and Tri-Care Reserve Select insurance that helps cover medical costs while in school. (Family coverage is less than $275 per month.) Be sure to check with your recruiter on these current incentives.
Students who are part of the Army and Air Force (active duty and Reserve components) must pay for their tuition. At the end of the semester, they can turn in their completed grades and receive tuition reimbursement. This is called Federal Tuition Reimbursement. Students who are a part of the Army National Guard can turn in their class schedule and semester bill to the state education office and the tuition will be paid within a few weeks. This is called Federal Tuition Assistance.
Do you offer the Master of Divinity coursework online?
No. The nature of the M.Div. courses do not allow for an entirely online degree. We do have some of our courses available online, but languages and homiletics are difficult to learn this way.
Is there campus housing available?
Yes. OC has campus apartments available to rent. For details on the latest rates and other housing information, please contact the Oklahoma Christian Apartments at 405-425-5780.
How do I find out more about the Chaplain Candidacy programs?
For information about admission to the Graduate School of Theology, contact Josh Bailey, Program Director at 405-425-5389 or email@example.com.
For information about the Army National Guard Chaplain Candidacy program, contact SSG Cassie Leafgreen at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 866-276-8579.
For information about the Army (Active) Chaplain Candidacy program, contact Chaplain Paul T. Berghaus at email@example.com or by calling 817-633-3802.
For information about the Air Force Chaplain Candidacy program, contact MSGT Gene Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 405-579-1579.