Having accepted God's Call to minister to people who serve in the armed forces of our country. I covenant to serve God and these people with God’s help; to deepen my obedience to the commandments, to love the Lord our God with all my heart, soul, and mind and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. In affirmation of this commitment, I will abide by the Code of Ethics for chaplains of the United States Armed Forces, and I will faithfully support its purposes and ideals. As further affirmation of my commitment, I covenant with my colleagues in ministry that we will hold one another accountable for fulfillment of all public actions set forth in our Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics
I will hold in trust the traditions and practices of my religious body.
I will carefully adhere to whatever direction may be conveyed to me by my endorsing body for maintenance of my endorsement.
I understand, as a chaplain in the United States Armed Forces, that I will function in a pluralistic environment with chaplains of other religious bodies to provide for ministry to all military personnel and their families entrusted to my care.
I will seek to provide for pastoral care and ministry to persons of religious bodies other than my own within my area of responsibility with the same investment of myself as I give to members of my own religious body. I will work collegially with chaplains of religious bodies other than my own as together we seek to provide as full a ministry as possible to our people. I will respect the beliefs and traditions of my colleagues and those to whom I minister. When conducting services of worships that include personas of other than my religious body, I will draw upon those beliefs, principles, and practices that we have in common.
I will, if not in a supervisory position, respect the practices and beliefs of each chaplain I supervise, and exercise care not to require of them any service or practice that would be in violation of the faith practices of their particular religious body.
I will seek to support all colleagues in ministry by building consecutive relationships wherever I serve, both with the staff where I work and with colleagues throughout the military environment.
I will maintain a disciplined ministry in such ways as keeping hours of prayers and devotion, endeavoring to maintain wholesome family relationships, and regularly engaging in educational and recreational activities for professional and personal development. I will seek to maintain good health habits.
I will recognize that my obligation is to provide for the free exercise of religion for all members of the military services, their families, and other authorized personal. When on active duty, I will only accept added responsibility in civilian ministry if it does not interfere with the overall effectiveness of my primary military ministry.
I will defend my colleagues against unfair discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, or national origin.
I will hold in confidence any privileged communication received by me during the conduct of my ministry. I will not disclose confidential communications in private or in public.
I will not proselytize from other religious bodies, but I retain the right to evangelize to those who are not affirmed.
I will show personal love for God in my life and ministry as I strive together with my colleagues to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline, and promote the integrity of the profession to which we have been called.
I recognize the special power afforded to me by my ministerial office. I will never use that power in ways that violate the personhood of another human being, religiously, emotionally or sexually. I will use my pastoral office only for that which is best for the persons under my ministry.