Salvation Army Officers

Operations of The Salvation Army are supervised by trained, commissioned officers. They proclaim the gospel and serve as administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, youth leaders, and musicians.

These men and women have dedicated their lives, skills, and service completely to God. Lay members who subscribe to the doctrines of The Salvation Army are called soldiers. Along with officers, they are known as Salvationists.

Candidates for Officership undergo an intensive two-year course in residence at Salvation Army college in Winnipeg. The curriculum combines theory and field practice, including Salvation Army doctrine, sociology and social work, psychology, Salvation Army regulations, homiletics, public speaking, Bible studies, church history, composition, community relations, business administration, accounting, and vocal and instrumental music.

After two successful years of training, cadets are commissioned as lieutenants, ordained as ministers, and assigned to active duty while continuing their education. Lieutenants are required to devote five years to additional studies. As ordained ministers of the gospel, they are authorized to perform marriage ceremonies, funeral services, and infant dedications. They also provide counseling and consolation to the bereaved.

Promotion is based on length of service, character, efficiency, capacity for increased responsibility, and devotion to duty. The ranks are lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel and commissioner. The international leader holds the rank of general and is selected by a high council of active-duty commissioner and territorial commanders.