Common Resources

Contact Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division:

Latter-day Saint Chaplains

Latter-day Saint chaplains serve people of all faiths. The primary role of a chaplain is to ensure that each person they serve is afforded the free exercise of his or her religion. Chaplains also assist those they serve with issues that affect their spiritual welfare. Jeffrey R. Holland said, “[Chaplains] are on the front lines in a way that I won’t get to be, so we do pray for you, and love you, and admire you, and see it as a very, very special service” (“Chaplains Are Messengers of Hope on the Battlefront of Crises” [video]).

Chaplains should possess faith, hope, charity, love, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, kindness, godliness, humility, and diligence (see Doctrine and Covenants 4:5–6). They should also be firmly grounded in the teachings and doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, acquire good listening and counseling skills, and have a strong testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here you can learn more about the requirements to become a Latter-day Saint Chaplain, types of chaplaincies, and resources for current chaplains and their priesthood leaders.

How to Become a Chaplain

The first step to becoming a chaplain is to contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division. A representative from the division will guide you through the process and assist you in understanding the available options to fulfill the educational and ministerial requirements of various governmental and nongovernmental agencies.

The Church provides centralized endorsement for Latter-day Saint chaplains. Governmental and nongovernmental entities establish specific educational and ministerial requirements for their organization or entity.

Serviceman in desert

Official Church Endorsement Requirements

  • Are endowed, possess a current temple recommend, and live worthy to attend the temple.
  • Complete interviews with the bishop and stake president to assess worthiness, maturity, and suitability to represent the Church as an endorsed chaplain (coordinated by the director of the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division).
  • Complete psychological personality evaluation (required for military chaplains; coordinated by the director).
  • Complete a General Authority interview (required for military chaplains; coordinated by the director).
  • Serve faithfully in Church callings. It is preferred but not mandatory that chaplains have served full-time missions. They should have extensive experience serving in the Church. Many agencies or organizations require a minimum of two years of ministerial experience.
  • Have a working knowledge of the General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Complete educational and specialized training requirements. Many organizations require their chaplains to complete Clinical Pastoral Education.

Annual Endorsement Requirements

Below are the requirements for continued endorsement of a Latter-day Saint chaplain. The chaplain must:

  • Possess a current temple recommend and live worthy to enter the temple.
  • Serve faithfully in Church callings.
  • Maintain a demeanor consistent with Church standards of personal behavior.
  • Submit required reports to the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division.
  • Attend the Annual Chaplains Training unless excused by the director of the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division.
  • Undergo an annual interview with the stake president to confirm temple worthiness, meet family obligations, and fulfill Church callings. The stake president should complete the form titled Annual Interview of a Latter-day Saint Chaplain (print) or Annual Interview of a Latter-day Saint Chaplain (interactive).
  • Adhere to the standards outlined in Latter-day Saint Chaplain Guidebook (2023).

Higher Education

The educational requirements for serving as a chaplain vary depending on the type of chaplaincy an individual is pursuing. Brigham Young University offers a graduate degree that meets the educational requirements for the United States Department of Defense and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Other accredited universities and seminaries may also offer graduate programs that meet the educational requirements. Interested individuals should consult with the director of the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division before pursuing a graduate degree program.

To learn more about master’s degree programs offered by Religious Education at Brigham Young University, go to Please direct questions regarding the BYU application process to Associate Graduate Coordinator at 1-801-422-3290.

Application Process

For questions regarding application for ecclesiastical endorsement, contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division at 1-801-240-2286 or

Types of Chaplaincies

Latter-day Saint chaplains diligently serve people of all faiths, ensuring that individuals are afforded religious freedom and assistance in accommodating religious and spiritual needs.

Chaplains serve in a variety of settings, including the settings listed below.

Military Chaplains
Healthcare Chaplains
Correctional and Rehabilitation Chaplains
Public Safety Chaplains
Federal Chaplains
Education Chaplains
Corporate Chaplains
Chaplains for Civic, Private, and Nongovernmental Organizations

General Chaplaincy Responsibilities

The scope of chaplain ministry varies depending on the setting and type of chaplaincy. However, most chaplains may have the following responsibilities:

  • Advise the leaders and staff as a subject matter expert regarding the impact of religious and spiritual affairs on the organization’s operations.
  • Advise the leaders and staff on moral, ethical, cultural, and spiritual matters.
  • Complete spiritual needs assessments and formulate intervention strategies.
  • Provide pastoral care, counseling, guidance, and support in individual and group settings—showing love, compassion, and service to others in need.
  • Conduct individual and group crisis intervention.
  • Actively collaborate with medical providers, caregivers, mental health counselors, other chaplains, clergy members, and community faith leaders as appropriate.
  • Assist with death notifications and provide comfort to grieving family members and friends.
  • Deliver inspirational and spiritual messages, including at interfaith services.
  • Offer public or private prayers in various settings.
  • Provide worship services.
  • Conduct ceremonies such as civil marriages, memorials services, and funerals.
  • Conduct suicide awareness and prevention training.
  • Teach a variety of religious and nonreligious education classes and provide resource materials.
  • Facilitate additional religious and spiritual needs with other chaplains or local clergy.
  • As qualified and authorized, perform various rituals, ordinances, and blessings of comfort and healing.
  • Coordinate qualified local priesthood holders, clergy members, spiritual advisors, and other faith group leaders to perform faith tradition specific ordinances, rituals, and spiritual care as necessary.

Female Chaplains

Female Latter-day Saint chaplains may perform marriages, funerals, memorials, worship services, counseling, classes, and other needs of ministry. If services or ordinances are needed beyond the scope of one’s authority, the chaplain will facilitate the service taking place with authorized personnel. This protocol is also used for administration of the sacrament and priesthood blessings.

Information for Priesthood Leaders

Latter-day Saint chaplains work closely with local priesthood leaders ensuring that Church members in the military have opportunities to receive the full blessings of Church membership.

Latter-day Saint chaplains are expected to attend Church meetings within their own ward and serve in a calling in their ward or stake. For additional guidance on Church callings for chaplains, see the chaplain sections of the General Handbook in section 38.

It is mandatory for Latter-day Saint chaplains to receive an annual ecclesiastical endorsement. The stake president is responsible for conducting an annual interview with each chaplain in his stake, completing the Annual Interview of a Latter-day Saint Chaplain (print) or Annual Interview of a Latter-day Saint Chaplain (interactive) form for each chaplain, and submitting the form to the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division.

For further information and additional resources, priesthood leaders should contact the Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division at 1-801-240-2286 or

Past Chaplain Seminars

Chaplain Seminars and Trainings on

Below are some selected training segments:

Common Resources

Contact Military Relations and Chaplain Services Division: