Becoming a full time Commissioned RAF Chaplain
If you would like to apply to join the branch, read the information below, then write (stating whether you are interested in full time commissioned or part time auxiliary chaplaincy), enclosing your CV, to:
Rev (Sqn Ldr) Ruth Hake
RAF High Wycombe
Tel: 01494 494469
You must have been born in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or a country that was, at the time, a member of the Commonwealth. You must also have been a citizen of one of those countries since birth.
You should normally be aged between 26 and 49 when you begin RAF Initial Officer Training.
Candidates must be working clergymen or clergywomen, so minimum academic qualifications for working in civilian ministry apply. You must be ordained within an MOD eligible sending church and normally have at least two years' pastoral experience. As a Church of England or Roman Catholic candidate, you require the recommendation of your bishop. Church of Scotland and Free Church candidates require the recommendation of their respective Forces Board or Chaplaincy Committee.
To find out more about the recruitment process click here.
All Chaplains are expected to achieve and maintain the same fitness levels as other members of the RAF. These levels are adjusted for age and gender, and are available on request from Rev (Sqn Ldr) Ruth Hake. A potential Chaplain will be required to pass a fitness test on selection at OASC, and again on a Familiarisation visit approximately 1 month before commencing training.
Initial Officer Training
Chaplaincy candidates follow a specially designed eleven-week course for professionally qualified entrants at the RAF College Cranwell, known as the Specialist Entrants and Re-entrants' (SERE) course. This is a condensed version of the full Initial Officer Training Course (this link includes video from RAFC Cranwell) and is immediately followed by a two week Basic Air Warfare Course (BAWC).
At some point in your first year in the Branch you will also complete a short course at Amport House (the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre) specifically for new chaplains. This will explore the theology of military chaplaincy and its practical application within the RAF.
Up-to-date details about salary can be found at the RAF Careers website.
Your first tour of duty, which could be relatively short, will usually be on a large flying or training unit, within an interdenominational chaplaincy team led by an experienced RAF Chaplain. For later tours you may be working solo on a small or medium-sized RAF base. In the longer term, you may undertake a Senior Chaplain role.
There are extensive opportunities for additional training in the skills required of a military chaplain - most of these courses take place at Amport House