Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Deborah Loyd, DMin

Second Advisor

Luisa Gallagher Stevens, PhD

Third Advisor

MaryKate Morse, PhD


Chaplains are expected to be the spiritual leaders of their units, sometimes for thousands of people at a time, while also being expected to maintain the highest professional standards of regular military officers. They are charged with defending religious freedoms and guarding the spiritual development of those under their care, regardless of their faith background. These expectations, coupled with combat deployments and high levels of vicarious trauma that is often experienced through counseling, make it very difficult to maintain spiritual health. Given all these pressures, I noticed how spiritual health and leadership quality can suffer in the lives of military chaplains. I have experienced first-hand how taxing military life can be on a chaplain and his/her family.

I serve as a 15-year Air Force chaplain. I have noticed how there is little to nothing written directly about the challenges Christian military chaplains face in staying spiritually healthy. I also noticed there was not much written specifically to Christian military chaplains in the way of fostering Christ-like leadership.

Based on these observations, the NPO statement discovered is: military chaplains struggle with balancing the wide-ranging demands of ministry, the pressure of rank and promotion that comes with officership, the responsibility to grow as leaders, and the desire to foster a healthy spiritual life.

Given the lack of resources for fostering leadership and spiritual formation in the lives of Christian Chaplains, this project was born. Carrying the Cloak: Six Steps to Grow as Humble Leaders and Healthy Servants is a spiritual formation and leadership development tool, designed to be a book, written by a military chaplain for military chaplains. The material connects the chaplain to the origins and history of chaplaincy, six key steps to learn in nurturing a healthy spirituality, and how it all ties into a servant leadership model.

Included in

Christianity Commons