Officers are the equivalent of full-time clergy in other Christian denominations. Officers undergo a rigorous training before being ordained. After ordination, they are appointed to various roles around The Salvation Army, which could include church leadership, social programmes, or management according to their skills and experiences.
The Salvation Army is committed to the ordination of both women and men. Single women, single men and married couples can all apply to become officers.
A person must be a soldier of The Salvation Army before they can become an officer.
Soldiers of The Salvation Army are Christians who have undertaken a specific covenant (or promise) regarding lifestyle and beliefs.
They are not employed by The Salvation Army, although they may take on paid positions by applying through conventional means.
Soldiers are eligible to wear The Salvation Army uniform, however, this is not compulsory. Soldiers are part of a Salvation Army corps in their local area.
Soldiers testify that:
they worship God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit
they have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord
they are committed to the work and mission to which Christ has called The Salvation Army as part of His church
they believe in the Bible as the word of God
they agree with The Salvation Army’s doctrines.
They also declare:
they will be responsive to the Holy Spirit and seek to grow in grace
they will make the values of the Kingdom of God the standard for their lives, showing Christian integrity in their deeds, maintaining Christian ideals in their relationships, and upholding the sanctity of marriage and family life.
they will be faithful stewards of all they have and are
they will abstain from the use of all enslaving substances and harmful activities
they will be active in God’s work both in sharing the Gospel and in serving the needy and will contribute financially to its support
they will be true to the principles of The Salvation Army.
Adherents are Christians who also pledge to support their local Salvation Army corps. While not entering into a Soldier’s Covenant, an adherent declares that they:
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and seek to follow Him
Participate through worship, fellowship and service at a local Salvation Army corps
Identify with the mission of The Salvation Army