Mercy through military chaplains and specialized pastoral ministers

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Specialized Pastoral Ministry and Ministry to the Armed Forces military chaplains deliver Christ’s mercy through their words and service, providing much-needed spiritual care for His people in unique and challenging environments.

SPM includes ordained and commissioned church workers who bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into institutions and emergency contexts, serve hurting and broken people who are often in crisis and are trained to minister to those desiring to live as God’s redeemed children.

LCMS military chaplains serve in similar ways, although their work looks different, occurring in ever-changing, pluralistic and increasingly dangerous environments. While they are non-combatants, chaplains still eat, sleep, train, work and exercise with their flock, both in combat and in garrison.

Whether serving through SPM or Ministry to the Armed Forces, LCMS chaplains are eager to bear witness to Christ and His forgiveness, coming alongside people of all faiths or no faith: listening to what burdens hearts, praying for troubled souls and asking Christ’s mercy for all.


O Lord almighty God, as You have always granted special gifts of the Holy Spirit to Your church on earth, grant Your continual blessing to all who minister in Your name in the armed forces, in institutional and emergency services chaplaincy, in pastoral counseling and clinical pastoral education, that by Your grace, they may honor Christ and advance the good of those committed to their care, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

How can my church support military outreach?

The Ministry to the Armed Forces offers many opportunities to support our nation’s military members, families and veterans.

  • Worship materials, prayer guides, bulletin inserts and newsletters
  • Operation Barnabas, which encourages our military, chaplains and their families
  • Our Ministry-by-Mail program helps servicemen and women stay spiritually strong

Are you interested in ministering in special settings?

Specialized Pastoral Ministry provides chaplains, pastoral counselors and clinical educators with resources to help them care for souls facing various challenges.

  • Consultation, mentoring, peer review and support
  • Emergency training, continuing education events and retreats
  • “A Pastoral Touch” newsletter and devotionals

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