Note: College chaplaincies/Campus Ministers are discussed in the Higher Education section, and school chaplaincies are in the K-12 section.
The process of being called to a position as a military chaplain is (as you would guess) fairly precise. Most individuals begin this process while still in theological school and participate in simultaneous ordination and military chaplaincy processes. There are age and physical health restrictions in place for each branch. Students interested in this field should make inquiry into the training programs as soon as possible. (Additional print materials are kept in the Office of Career Services).
Formal prison chaplaincy (with the bureau of prisons) requires specific coursework within the M.Div. (see the board of pensions page for more information) two years of experience, and ordination or membership in a vowed community.
Denominations frequently support their own chaplaincies within specific prisons, sometimes as stand alone ministries and sometimes as part of a particular congregation. These positions are hired from within denominational systems and may have their own set of requirements.
The first step for each of these programs is CPE credentials. Typically the first unit of CPE is earned while in the M.Div. and an additional three to four units are garnered in a full-time residency after graduation.