The Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre

The Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre (AFCC) at the Defence Academy is the training provider for chaplaincy across the UK Ministry of Defence. It educates, supports, nurtures and develops chaplains across the services whilst resourcing faith across the whole force.

Chaplains attend courses designed to support their transition into defence through to senior leadership positions. Through residential and digital learning, AFCC courses develop key competencies and support professional development and Continuous Ministerial Education (CME).

AFCC courses include:

  • Human Capability (Pastoral Skills) – learn the art of listening to others and oneself. These courses seek to explore the area of spiritual resilience and nurture the intrinsic foundations of effective and authentic leadership. Pastoral skills courses are offered as a residential course.

  • Human Capability (Religion and Modern Wars) – understand how religions interact in today’s conflicts, wars, international relations. Explore religion’s role in how modern militaries recruit, manage, deploy and care for their personnel. These courses are designed to develop skills required to effectively engage in the international environment and will be offered through blended learning.

  • Resourcing Faith (Religious Resilience) – annual residential events organised by the World Faith Defence Networks. These events are open to all MOD personnel.

Located in the historic Beckett House on Defence Academy’s Shrivenham campus, AFCC is underpinned by an inclusive learning environment, welcoming experiences and shared values across all ranks and grades. Eliciting professional, personal, cultural, spiritual and cognitive diversity, the AFCC encourages curiosity and prepares our people to be comfortable with uncertainty and to remain open to the world of possibility.

Chaplains who work in digital posts in regiments, on stations or at sea are welcome to meet at Beckett House for mutual support and encouragement, through their branch or denominational specific Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events. These courses aim to resource their faith as they seek to serve across the diversity of the UK’s defence community.

Beckett House contains the AFCC library, an important and unique collection of books and resources specifically covering ethics and religion in defence. The collection further covers the history of chaplaincy and faith within the armed forces. Original research papers carried out by HM Forces Chaplains are also stored and available.

The AFCC seeks to develop and explore the ethical and spiritual foundation within the moral component of fighting power by developing the ‘spiritual edge’ in the joint force. Properly understood, the ‘spiritual edge’ delivers the ability to withstand, recover, or grow from adversity, stress or change, using resources that are not merely material, intellectual or psychological; namely, a sense of belonging to something greater than self, ultimate meaning, moral values, and connectedness to the other. The AFCC is the only UK defence institution dedicated to the discussion of questions on religion in defence and world faiths engagement, with the capacity to support both UK commanders and to engage with international partners in a world-leading centre.

The AFCC is the only UK defence institution dedicated to the discussion of questions on religion in defence and world faiths engagement, with the capacity to support both UK commanders and to engage with international partners in a world-leading centre.