The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - February 7th 2018

Navy Religious Ministry Team Training Focuses on 
Nones, Dones, and Millennials

The Navy Chaplain Corps presents an annual Professional Development Training Course for its chaplains and Religious Program Specialists each year. Developed especially to address pastoral care needs across the three sea services they support, these courses are effective partnerships with leading thinkers in the field of spiritual care brought literally to the door steps of Religious Ministry Teams at 12 fleet concentration sites around the globe. 

Working through the expertise of the Naval Education Training Command and International Association for Continuing Education and Training standards for delivering training, each PDTC addresses a single subject as selected by the program sponsor, the Navy Chief of Chaplains, to provide essential knowledge, skills and abilities for developing core competencies. By effectively partnering with civilian, religious, and military leaders the Chief of Chaplains, in her unique role of supporting three of the five armed services of our nation with religious ministry support, enables these far flung spiritual care givers to remain among the best qualified in the world. 

Rear Adm. Margaret Kibben, Navy Chief of Chaplains indicates, "This year's PDTC entitled, 'A Strategy for the Delivery of Religious Ministry to Nones, Dones and Millennials,' is designed to equip the Chaplain Corps to meet its responsibility to deliver religious ministry to our Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and family members in today's culture. As we in our Religious Ministry Teams exercise our core capabilities of provide, facilitate, care and advise, we need to be aware that to do that effectively, we must access any number of avenues of communication to reach people where they find themselves."

Religious Program Specialist 1st Class David Okula, a participant in the validation event for the course, believed his training was an invigorating experience that allowed him to provide a different perspective on how to connect with incoming generations and understand shifting cultural dynamics. "The process was equally intense, as many voices came together passionately, to either embrace or challenge concepts presented on how to engage millennials," said Okula.

Much of the focus for the 2018 course is on the demographics of millennials, many of whom are far less likely than older generations to identify with any religious group. There are people who fall under the labels of religious "nones" who may have once been religious or "dones" who have decided to stop attending religious services.

"The curriculum, and the subject matter experts responsible for its development and delivery, provided an invaluable perspective not only on how millennials view the world, institutions, and relationships, but also on how they utilize social media and technology to operate within them," said Lt. Keith J. Lightner, the chaplain assigned to Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

To ensure the course was at the leading edge of research the Chief of Chaplains partnered with the Faith Trust Institute, an institution well known for its training on healthy boundaries,  reducing sexual abuse and harassment in the work place, and creating safe and healthy faith communities.

The PDTC will be offered at 12 fleet concentration area and overseas locations. The first course was offered last month and they will continue through June.  

We congratulate the Navy for this forward thinking vision and pioneering leadership in equipping our religious ministry team resources to address some of the leading concerns of the day. 

Lyman Smith
Director of Communications
A Change of Leadership

Chaplain Michael Langson 
CHC, USN, Retired

President, MCA

Chaplain Karen Stocks has resigned as the President of the MCA. This follows the tragic loss of her husband, Sam Stocks, in November of 2017. Sam fell while walking outside their home and died less than a week later from injuries sustained in the fall. A retired Air Force Colonel, Sam will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery on February 28th at 3:00 PM. There will be a grave side ceremony and all are invited to participate as Colonel Stocks receives full military honors. 

Chaplain Mike Langston (CAPT, CHC, USN, Retired) has fleeted up to become the acting President of the MCA. Elected as Vice President in October, 2017, Chaplain Langston will remain as acting President through our next annual meeting at which time an election will be held to provide us with an elected President and Vice President as required by our constitution and bylaws. 

We give thanks for the service rendered by Chaplain Stocks and our prayers continue with her. We also thank Chaplain Langston for moving into this important position and for the leadership he will provide during this critical period in our history. 


Executive Director, Military Chaplains Association 

Major General William D. Razz Waff  was the  United States Department of the Army  Deputy GI (Personnel) in  Washington D.C. , as of 2013, and Chairman, Army Reserve Forces Policy Committee (ARFPC) from January 2014 until his retirement on 30 September 2015 after over 39 years of service. Previously he served as the Commanding General of the Army Reserve's 99th Regional Support Command from 2010 till 2013  and also as the Senior Commander, Ft Devens, MA and Ft Dix, NJ while serving as the Commanding General, 99th RSC.

Chaplain Waff has been a member of the MCA since 1998 and an Episcopal priest since 1983. Combining his professional experience as a healthcare chaplain and his military service in the US Army Reserves, Chaplain Waff has an appreciation and intense familiarity with the rigors and rewards of military chaplaincy. As a soldier he benefited from chaplain ministry. As a Commander he enabled and supported the command religious program in his various assignments throughout his career. 

Our new Executive Director looks forward to leading the MCA as we continue to serve as the "voice of chaplaincy" and advance professional chaplaincy as we encourage and support all military members and their families. 


      Women's Military Chaplain                          Training
                    May 29-31 2018

The National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces and the Military Chaplains Association are co-sponsoring the Women's Military Chaplain Training on May 29-31, 2018 at Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center, Marriottsville, Maryland. The focus of the training is Connect, Cultivate and Contextualize. Women serving as military chaplains in all components and all services are invited to attend. Unfortunately, chaplain candidates are not able to attend.

Those attending the training will increase networking skills, resilience and pastoral identity while decreasing isolation. Chaplain (Major General-Retired) Lorraine Potter, first woman Chief of Chaplains for the Air Force, will be the keynote speaker. She will address how to cultivate a network while increasing resilience. Chaplain Potter will also share her story as the first female Chief of Chaplains of the Air Force and provide mentorship and modeling for those in attendance. 

Registration is open through April 16th. Cost is $150 per participant. This will cover all meals and lodging.

The Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center is at 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville, MD 21104,  410.442.3120. Each room is a single room with a private bath providing toiletries and towels. The closest airport, the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), 7035 Elm Road, Baltimore, MD 21240, is 22 miles away.

All meals will be served in the dining room and two hospitality rooms will provide fresh fruit and beverages 24 hours a day. If you have special dietary needs, please fill out the appropriate form available at on-line registration
More information is available at

2017 Giving Statements

Statements detailing giving and other professional payments to the Military Chaplains Association from members and friends in 2017 have been prepared and sent via email. If you have not received yours or have questions please contact us at 

Thank you for your continuing support. 

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If you missed the January 31st  edition of the Newsgram  click here
SUPPORTING CHAPLAINCY IN AND OUT OF UNIFORM: Active, Retired and Former Chaplains of the  United States Army,  United States Navy,  United States Air Force, Department of  Veterans Affairs, and  Civil Air Patrol

AND THOSE THEY SERVE: military members, veterans, and their families  at home and around the world

The Military Chaplains Association of the USA
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