United States Fire Department Reserve Corps
 United States Fire Department Reserve Corps

The Chaplaincy Services Command


Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer reservist member of the United States Fire Department Reserve Corps (USFDRC): Chaplaincy Services Command (CSC).


The mission of the Chaplain Services Command (CSC) is to function as a central coordinating spiritual service to all reservists, their families, and community needs. Establish and maintain collaborative working relationships with other commands, and provide direct support services during emergencies and disasters.


Chaplains are expected to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of others. Chaplains perform wedding, ceremonies, administer communion, deliver spiritual messages, offer prayer at meetings, and provide regular spiritual counseling.


Chaplains advise commanders to ensure the 'free exercise' rights for all are upheld, including those who hold no faith. Chaplains perform religious support activities according to their faith and conscience and provide religious support to other faith groups by coordinating with another chaplain or qualified individual to perform the support needed.


Faith Distinctive: Chaplains are expected to observe the distinctive doctrines of their faith while also honoring the right of others to observe their own faith. The USFDRC is a pluralistic environment. Rabbis, ministers, imams, and priests serve our reservists and community with conviction and commitment. While serving their own faith groups in the USFDRC, chaplains also ensure and provide the means for others to observe their own faith in accordance with United States law.

Chaplain Requirements

Basic requirements for an appointment:

General Qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Be qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually, and emotionally to serve the USFDRC and our nation.
  • Be sensitive to religious diversity and provide for the free exercise of religion.

Ecclesiastical Endorsement: Applicants must receive an endorsement from an ecclesiastical endorsing agency.  An endorsement certifies that the applicant:

  • Is a fully qualified clergyperson of the certifying faith group.

  • Is qualified spiritually, morally, intellectually, and emotion­ally to serve as a USFDRC chaplain.
  • Supports the free exercise of religion by all members of the USFDRC.
  • Has 2 years of professional experience following the comple­tion of the academic requirements.

Educational requirements:  To be educationally qualified for appointment as a chap­lain, the applicant must:

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree of not less than 120 semester hours (180 quarter hours) from an accredited college or university listed in the current edition of the American Council on Education’s (ACE), Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education, or from a school whose credits are accepted by a college or seminary listed in this publication, or by any institution listed in the current edition of the Directory, Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Bulle­tin, Part 4, or accredited by the Transnational Association of Chris­tian Schools (TRACS).
  • Have successfully completed 3 resident years of graduate professional study in theology or related subjects (normally validated by the possession of a Master of Divinity degree, an equiva­lent graduate degree, or 90 semester hours) at an accredited graduate school. Graduate professional study is required for ecclesiastical endorsement as a member of the clergy fully qualified to perform the functions of a chaplain. The graduate professional study requirement can be met only at a graduate school listed in the Accredited Institutions of Post-Secondary Education, the Transnational Association of Christian Schools, the current edition of the Directory, Association of Theological Schools Bulletin, Part 4, or at a school whose credits are accepted by a school listed as accredited in these documents.

Professional experience: Applicants applying must have a minimum of 2 years of full-time professional experience performed after the applicant has met the educational requirements. The professional experience must be validated by the applicant’s endorsing agent. This requirement under some circumstances is waiverable by the National Commander. To obtain a waiver, the endorser must provide a detailed summary of the experience that the endorser feels is equal to the 2 years of professional experience.  

A person is expected to have a well-formed denominational, pastoral identity. That identity is defined by the pastor first meeting all denominational and academic requirements and then applying the full seminary experience in at least 2 years of practical ministry situations. 

Note: After all of the above have been satisfactory, the appropriate documents will be submitted to the Office of the Chief of Chaplains for consideration.

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