Chaplain Candidacy

If you are looking for a way to serve God and the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines of our country, then you are in the right place. Oklahoma Christian University’s Graduate School of Theology is a place where you can prepare to serve as a Chaplain in the armed forces.

We currently have students who are Chaplain Candidates from both the Army and the Air Force. Through the Chaplain Candidate Program, prospective students who wish to serve as a Chaplain in the Army National Guard can receive their Master of Divinity at OC’s Graduate School of Theology tuition-free.

Program Requirements

Requirements and benefits differ from branch to branch and from Active Duty to Reserves and the National Guard. Here are the current requirements for the Army National Guard Chaplain Candidacy Program:

  • Successful admission to the Graduate School of Theology’s Master of Divinity program.
  • Successful admission to the Army National Guard Chaplain Candidacy program. (This admission/assessioning process takes longer than admission to the OC Graduate School of Theology, so plan accordingly).
  • Compliance with the Graduate School of Theology’s Student Handbook on attendance, ethical/moral behavior, and academic standing.
  • Application for Federal Tuition Assistance (FTA).
  • Successful completion of the Master of Divinity program and graduation from OC’s Graduate School of Theology.

How does the program work?

As a full-time student in OC’s Graduate School of Theology, you enroll in nine credit hours per semester for a total of 18 credit hours per academic year. Tuition is $400 per credit hour. Your Federal Tuition Assistance from the Army National Guard pays up to $4,500 of your tuition per year. OC’s Graduate School of Theology pays the remaining $2,700 per year to cover your tuition costs while you earn your Master of Divinity.

When you begin drilling in the Army National Guard as a Chaplain Candidate, you can receive great experience and several additional benefits, including the Montgomery G.I. Bill (up to $20,000 in student loan repayment under the Chaplain Loan Repayment Program), drill pay to offset monthly expenses, and Tri-Care Reserve Select insurance that helps cover medical costs while in school. (Family coverage is less than $275 per month.) Be sure to check with your recruiter on these current incentives.  

Students who are part of the Army and Air Force (Active Duty and Reserve components) must pay for their tuition. At the end of the semester, they can turn in their completed grades and receive tuition reimbursement. This is called Federal Tuition Reimbursement. Students who are a part of the Army National Guard can turn in their class schedule and semester bill to the state education office; tuition will be paid within a few weeks. This is called Federal Tuition Assistance.


Do you offer the Master of Divinity coursework online?
No. The nature of the M.Div. courses do not allow for an entirely online degree. We do have some of our courses available online, but languages and homiletics are difficult to learn this way.

Is campus housing available?
Yes. OC has campus apartments available to rent. For the latest rates and other housing information, contact Oklahoma Christian Housing at 405.425.5780.

How do I find out more about the Chaplain Candidacy programs?
For information about admission to OC’s Graduate School of Theology, contact program director Josh Bailey at 405.425.5389 or at

For information about the Army National Guard Chaplain Candidacy program, contact SSG Cassie Leafgreen at or 866.276.8579.

For information about the Army (Active) Chaplain Candidacy program, contact Chaplain Paul T. Berghaus at or 817.633.3802.

For information about the Air Force Chaplain Candidacy program, contact MSGT Gene Higgins at or 405.579.1579.

Questions about OC’s Graduate School of Theology? Contact Josh Bailey.