Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries was established as a service of the General Conference in 1985 and became a department in 1995. The Department is directed by a qualified ordained minister with chaplaincy experience. The Director is assisted by an associate who is also an ordained minister with chaplaincy experience. The Director also serves as the senior endorser and secretary for the General Conference ACM Committee. The Associate Director represents the ACM Department on accreditation and certification boards and serves as the secretary to those bodies.
All aspects of the General Conference ACM Department’s activities, programs, services and work come under the jurisdiction of the General Conference ACM Committee. The ACM Committee’s “Terms of Reference” delineate its functional responsibilities and level of authority.
Currently, the General Conference ACM Department is dual-hatted and also serves as the North American Division ACM Department. As the number of chaplains continues to increase, plans are being considered to establish a separate NAD ACM Department.
Weary from years of the Vietnam Conflict, American citizens readily accepted the end of fighting and conscription (1973). When the U.S. Forces became all volunteer (1974), the National Service Organization quickly lost emphasis and the NSO structure from unions down to local churches dissolved. All stateside Servicemen’s Centers were closed. However, Adventists continued enlisting in the military for a variety of reasons.
Even though the Cold War between capitalism and communism ended (1989), another ideological difference became a hot war between Islamic fascism (terrorists) and Western culture. As a partial replacement for the former NSO structure, Assistant ACM Directors extend the reach of the ACM Department across NAD. Currently, three of five required represent ACM in the Northwestern, Southeastern and Southwestern corners of NAD. Plans call for two more field representatives to cover the Central and Northeastern regions of NAD. Among other duties, they provide guidance for those considering entry into the military and pastoral care for those serving in uniform.
The NAD ACM Department also incorporates four chaplain associations, the National Service Organization and has close ties with the Whitecoat Foundation, an independent organization of Adventist veterans.