Specialized Salvation Army officer role created in Australia
By Lauren Martin –
The Australia Territory announced a new specialized Salvation Army officer role—a “Social and Community Services Officer”—that will allow people to train as an officer for one specific area and serve their appointments in that area only.
“This is a major change that is supported by International Headquarters and is an exciting opportunity for us to develop different pathways of officership,” said Lt. Colonel Kelvin Merrett, Australia Territory Secretary for Personnel.
In order to prepare for the specific training required for this role, Eva Burrows College developed a new pathway for Salvationists who sense God’s leading toward the field of social and community services and full-time service as an officer.
After training, they will be commissioned as a Salvation Army officer and, like all officers, they will make themselves available to serve anywhere in the new Australia Territory, but exclusively in social and community services appointments.
“While officership typically requires people to generalize in a wide range of areas, now there is an opportunity to train as an officer for one specific area and have confidence that this is where you will be appointed,” said Captain Richard Parker, Eva Burrows College Leader of Officer Formation. “Our new approach allows leaders to be equipped to serve as an officer in their areas of gifting and passion. It also allows for highly individualized training, resulting in officers who are especially equipped for a challenging yet rewarding ministry in social and community services.”
The Salvation Army will begin with three cadet positions in 2020 for this opportunity to serve as a specialized officer. The requirements for those wanting to apply are the same as anyone who expresses an interest in becoming a Salvation Army cadet, although the new pathway will offer specialized training for social and community services while also covering all essential officer training.
Alternate Training Mode Coordinator Captain Andrew Walton said it’s an exciting opportunity for future leaders of The Salvation Army and is the first step in creating more pathways to officership.
“We hope to further diversify training into other specialized modes of officership in the not too distant future,” he said, “to help us minister to more people, more effectively.”