Qualifications for Officer Candidates
Men and women wishing to become Salvation Army officers must be born-again Christians, believe they are called to full-time ministry and be Salvation Army soldiers (members of the church) endorsed for officership. They must possess a sincere love for and understanding of people and be willing to work in highly demanding situations upon completion of their training. Each candidate must be fully supportive of the ministry and doctrines of The Salvation Army.
- All officer candidates must be between the ages of 18-53, being able to provide at least 10 years of service as an officer before retirement.
- Salvation Army officership is a partnered ministry. In the case of married couples, both husband and wife must meet all the qualifications for officership and complete the required training. Both are commissioned and ordained. Subsequent appointments in ministry include both partners in the marriage.
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Possess a 10th grade reading level and be able to communicate in both spoken and written English. Fluency in an additional language is beneficial, but not required.
- Although no college courses are required, applicants are encouraged to take classes in reading and English at the community or junior college level.
- Basic computer skills are also encouraged.
- Some officer candidates earn undergraduate or graduate degrees before applying for officership.
- Many candidates enter Salvation Army officer training after several years in another career. Former professions and occupations represented by current candidates are: mechanics, nurses, school teachers, accountants, apartment managers, business administrators, professional counselors and homemakers. Some candidates begin Salvation Army officer training after having served in ministry in other denominations.
- Many officer candidates are married and have children.
- Officers with life experience or prior college credit may participate in flexible training or enter the College for Officer Training with advanced status. This is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- An officer candidate must be either a United States citizen, permanent resident or have an immigrant visa permitting him or her to work or study in the U.S. Upon acceptance as a candidate The Salvation Army will assist each candidate in securing needed visas for their training period and for ministry after they are ordained. It is expected that all individuals trained for officership would serve in the country or territory from which they received their training.
Salvation Army Soldiership:
- All candidates should have at least six months of active soldiership (membership in The Salvation Army corps/church) before they begin officer training. Whenever possible, this soldiership should include responsibility as a lay leader (local officer).
- Relationship to local corps congregation (church).
Officer candidates are:
- Affirmed and supported in their calling as an officer by their home corps.
- Active in the ministry of this body of believers and its programs.
- Before you begin your 22 month training for officership, you must be debt-free and have sufficient funds to cover your schooling and living expenses during this time. This will include expenses for your children.
- Some financial aid is available in the form of loans, scholarships and grants.
- Assistance may be available to candidates with outstanding student loans.
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