Job Family: Counseling, Social Work, and Human Services Religious Program Specialists
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | National Guard

Supplemental Information
Profile  |  Career Path
Photo 1: Religious program specialist in chapel. Photo 2:
Religious program specialist converses with mullah.

Michael Kowalski
Occupation: Religious Program Specialist

I enlisted in the Army for three reasons: I wanted to serve God, serve my country, and get experience.  As a chaplain assistant, I do all thre…

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Short Description
The military has personnel from many religions and faiths. The military provides chaplains and religious program specialists to help meet the spiritual needs of its personnel. Religious program specialists assist chaplains with religious services, religious education programs, and related administrative duties.

What They Do
Religious program specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Assist chaplains in planning religious programs and activities
  • Assist chaplains in conducting religious services
  • Prepare religious, educational, and devotional materials
  • Organize charitable and public service volunteer programs
  • Maintain relations with religious communities and public service organizations
  • Perform administrative duties for chaplains

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include English, public speaking, accounting, and typing. Helpful attributes include:
  • Ability to express ideas clearly
  • Interest in administrative work
  • Interest in religious guidance
  • Knowledge of various religious customs and beliefs
  • Sensitivity to the needs of others

Training Provided
Job training consists of classroom instruction. Course content typically includes:
  • Principles of religious support programs
  • Guidance and counseling techniques
  • Leadership skills
  • Office procedures

Work Environment
Religious program specialists in the military usually work indoors. They also serve aboard ships or with land and air units in the field.

Civilian Counterparts
Civilian religious program specialists help manage churches and religious schools. Their duties are similar to those performed by military religious program specialists, including planning religious programs and preparing religious educational materials. They are also called directors of religious activities.

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