Leadership and Structure | The Salvation Army

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Leadership and Structure

The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa is part of a worldwide Christian and charitable organisation whose members demonstrate their faith and beliefs through bringing hope, care and support to those in need.

The Salvation Army operates in 132 countries and is led by the General who provides spiritual and administrative guidance to Salvation Army units around the world and is located at the Army’s International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, England.

A quasi-military command structure was adopted in 1878 when the title ‘The Salvation Army’ was brought into use. As a response to a recurrent theme in Christianity which sees the Church engaged in spiritual warfare, The Salvation Army today uses this structure and soldier-like characteristics such as uniforms, flags and ranks to identify, inspire and regulate its mission.

International Leadership

The main responsibilities of The Salvation Army's General and the International Headquarters administrative departments are to deal with strategic and long-range planning and to act as a resource centre for the worldwide Army.

Read more about our International Leaders

New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Leadership

The next level in our structure is a Territory. Territories usually correspond to a country, however, many countries with a numerically strong Salvation Army presence may be divided into a number of territories. The Territory is headed by the Territorial Commander, usually having the rank of Commissioner or Colonel.

Find out more about our New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territorial Leaders

Structure, symbols and terminology

As well as the distinct structure of The Salvation Army, there are a number of different symbols and terms used which makes it recognisable to the general public.

Structure, symbols and terminology explained

Officers, soldiers and adherents

Members of The Salvation Army actively support the Army’s mission and are identified as adherents, soldiers and officers.

Learn more