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Air University Catalog 

Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development  
USAF Chaplain Service Institute  
Chaplain (Col) Benjamin Perez, Director  

On 1 July 1953, when the Air Force was given responsibility of training its own chaplains, the United States Air Force Chaplains Course was established at Lackland AFB, Texas, and placed under the Officer Basic Military Course. The Chaplains Course became part of Officer Military Schools (OMS) in June 1955. Based on a Department of the Air Force authorization, the USAF Chaplain School was established in June 1960; however, it remained under OMS. From 1958 to 1965, judge advocates also reported to the Chaplain School for training. OMS was discontinued in July 1962 and was assigned to the Officer Training School (OTS). The Chaplain School was made a separate unit and was placed directly under the commandant, Lackland Military Training Center, in February 1965. USAF Chaplain School was established at Maxwell AFB and assigned it to Headquarters Air University on 20 May 1966.

The Chaplain Service has a rich and varied legacy of supplying resources in support of ministry. The USAF Chaplain Service Resource Board was formed in July 1959 under the Air University Command Chaplain. Initially called the USAF Chaplain Writers Board, it prepared written lectures and identified audiovisual resources for the Air Force Moral Leadership Program.

In 1976, the board's name was changed to USAF Chaplain Resource Board to reflect its central role and mission in developing a variety of ministry support resources. In January 1989, the word service was added to the board's name--USAF Chaplain Service Resource Board--to reflect the mission of providing resources to all chaplain service professionals: chaplain service support personnel (CSSP), religious education coordinators, laity, and chaplains.

It is now known as the Chaplain Service Institute Resource Division. Its members assess the needs of chaplain service personnel and provide support to the varied ministries of the service. This support facilitates the free exercise of diverse religious practices and beliefs worldwide.

The USAF Chaplain Service Institute was activated under the Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development on 31 October 1992. It provides the chief of the Air Force Chaplain Service with a centrally managed, centrally located complex for all education, technical training, research, and resourcing activities of the USAF chaplain service. The new organization consolidated and functionally integrated four separate organizations. Two elements of the institute, the USAF Chaplain School and the USAF Chaplain Service Resource Board, were already located at Maxwell AFB. The USAF Chaplain Service Film Library, previously located at Norton AFB, California, as an operating detachment of the Center for Professional Development, collocated with the institute at Maxwell AFB in December 1992. Technical training for enlisted chaplain service support personnel was transferred to Maxwell in September 1993 from Keesler AFB, Mississippi, under Air Force Year of Training initiatives.

The creation of the USAF Chaplain Service Institute was a hallmark in the tradition of the USAF chaplain service profession. Its goals are to more effectively enable the ministries of the USAF chaplain services and thus enrich the lives of Air Force members and their families.

The USAF Chaplain Service Institute is composed of active duty, reserve, and ANG chaplains and chaplain service support personnel. This composition lends itself to a close collegial relationship with students and staffs worldwide and ensures curriculum and resources are designed and organized to solve and explore practical issues concerning today's Air Force chaplain service members.

The Education Division designs, develops, and manages the professional continuing education of all Air Force chaplains and chaplain service support personnel and for providing orientation and leadership for them. The division conducts two Air Force specialty awarding/accession courses and three supervisory leadership courses. The division offers three-day issue and subject specific courses as well as subject specific distance learning courses broadcast by satellite to ensure that chaplain and service personnel maintain vocational excellence throughout their careers.

The Resource Division assesses needs and delivers resources, primarily through Air Force Chaplain Service website ( The chaplain website serves two primary purposes. It furnishes tools and information that directly support and inform ministry in the field. Such resources range from suicide prevention to balancing the chapel's books. The chaplain service home page also provides an opportunity and channel for chaplains and CSSP to offer feedback. Chaplains and their staff are encouraged to submit ideas, critiques, or any other input that might further the purposes of the ministry.

The Resource Division is charged with staying abreast with the best tools and information in support of the ministry and communicating such matters to the field. Staff members sift through samples of marriage and family enrichment materials to advanced computer hardware and software that are received from various suppliers. The staff identifies those materials most appropriate for the Air Force community. The Resource Division staff members are active in the CSI classroom, teaching several classes, for example, Introduction to Marriage and Family, Global Ministry, and Privileged Communication.

Mission: Provide education, training, and resources that promote professional excellence and enhance the free exercise of religion to achieve global ministry for the US Air Force family.

Goals: Achieve vocational excellence, professional integrity, and service to others by

  • Providing knowledge, skills, and resources for students to better perform their duties
  • Attracting, mentoring, and recognizing quality people
  • Ensuring that faculty and course directors properly apply instructional system development principles
  • Securing resources to support mission requirements
  • Improving information flow and ensuring effective communication
  • Monitoring the quality of support services and seeking necessary improvements


The USAF Chaplain Service Institute encourages an academic environment that recognizes the value of each student's prior education and experience. Through free expression of ideas and immediate application of knowledge gained, the atmosphere of the institute remains progressive as it strives to prepare students for the Air Force chaplain service of the future. The faculty and staff of the institute advocate top-quality ministry and support of ministry.

Curriculum Summary
Course Title Academic Hours
Chaplain Orientation Course 160
Intermediate Chaplain Course 80
Wing Chaplain Course 80
Chaplain Service Support Apprentice Course 224
Chaplain Service Support Craftsman Course 120

Academic Credit

Through affiliation of the Ira C. Eaker College for Professional Development with the Community College of the Air Force, graduates of enlisted apprentice and craftsman courses may receive semester hours of credit toward an associate degree. Course graduates may apply for credit through the Registrar, CCAF/RRR, 130 W. Maxwell Blvd., Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6613. For further information, contact a base education office or see the CCAF catalog.

The institute also awards continuing education units for all chaplain courses so that chaplains may maintain ecclesiastical and professional standing with their respective denominational endorsing agencies. For further information, contact the Chief, Education Division, USAF Chaplain Service Institute, 155 N. Twining Street, Maxwell AFB AL 36112-6429.

Initiatives Summary

Instruction of enlisted students in crisis intervention skills, trauma pastoral care, and pluralism and faith group support requirements will further their professional abilities to support chaplains in peacetime and contingency operations. Officer and enlisted evaluation systems have been added to all levels of instruction, ensuring that chaplain and senior enlisted support personnel will use evaluation and supervisory skills appropriately.

The institute's Education and Resource Divisions are investigating ways to further develop distant learning opportunities through video home system (VHS) format video, satellite broadcasts, and text-based projects. The Resource Division's primary objectives currently include improving the quality of service and delivery of materials through automation technology and targeting needs assessments to fill resource "vacuums."

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