As a Chaplain in the New Zealand Army you will be ministering to the spiritual and pastoral well-being of NZ Army personnel at any time, in any circumstance. You will minister not only from the comfort of the Chapel on Camp, but also in the field during exercises and on operations often in austere and hostile environments, under military operational conditions.
You will wear the uniform, come under the Defence Act, and undergo the same indoctrination and training as others who take up the profession-of-arms. As a Chaplain, however, you will be primarily concerned for the spiritual and pastoral care of the individual, and bring to the NZ Army your particular skills which will include:
While on deployment, a Chaplain will conduct many of the same duties as their in camp role, as well as duties specific to an Operational theatre.
Because of the increased danger and higher risk to life while in theatre, a Chaplain may be called upon to conduct funereal rites/ramp ceremonies, conduct memorial services or assist with Critical Incident Management. In line with this they may be required to provide on going grief support to a Unit with a view to keeping deployed personnel focussed on the mission.
Chaplain’s provide a humanising presence in what can become a dehumanising environment. They can also act as a bridge builder between the host community (especially where religion is held in high regard) and the contingent.
As a trained first-line counsellor, in theatre, the Chaplain can be in a sense, a maintainer of morale and of the human spirit. A professional ‘friend’ or ‘carer’ supporting soldiers and thereby releasing command to concentrate on the soldiering side of the mission.
You will enter the NZ Army with the support of your Church and remain under its discipline for the exercise of your ordination/accreditation vows. Chaplaincy therefore is an institution of both the State (The NZ Defence Force) and the Church and you will need the on-going support of both.
Both the Church and NZDF needs to understand this partnership and the possible areas of tension. It is also important that you to understand this unique relationship and to appreciate that you will have two distinct but complementary lines of accountability.
Your initial remuneration will be based on previous experience and skill level. This is negotiated on a case by case basis. As your career continues, remuneration will increase on promotion and seniority.
Applicants are to have recognised professional qualifications and experience in Scripture, Theology and Pastoral Ministry in accordance with their own denominational requirements. In addition applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
Once you have gained your commission as a Specialist Officer, Chaplains are required to attend the six week Specialist Officer Induction Course (SOIC) in the first year of service. This Course is a basic introduction to the knowledge and skills required of an Officer in the New Zealand Army.
Armed Forces Chaplains are required to be qualified in theological, military and chaplain specialist matters. To ensure you are qualified to appropriate levels, military and some chaplaincy training will be given in initial, continuation and advanced stages of your career with the NZ Army.
You will be also be required to maintain links with your own denomination, attending training events, retreats, and annual conferences as appropriate. Chaplains may also be required to attend suitable military administration and staff courses during their career.
There are a number of short courses that Chaplain’s are encouraged to do to assist them in there role with the NZ Army including:
In addition, Chaplains will be eligible for other courses as they are developed, as well as ongoing Professional Supervision and Spiritual Direction.
You will minister not only from the comfort of the Chapel on Camp (locations throughout New Zealand), but also in the field during exercises and on operations often in austere and hostile environments, under military operational conditions.