Our Faith

Within The Salvation Army Church, Christian faith is expressed through active service. And a distinguishing feature in the religious life of The Salvation Army is the active participation of its members.  The tenants of the organization are simply to serve those in need in  Jesus’ name and to provide services without discrimination.

Corps Community Centers provide church services and are the hubs for spiritual development. In typical Salvation Army pragmatic style, the church is organized in a military manner, using military terms throughout. The Corps building is sometimes known as the "Citadel." The pastor serves as an "Officer." Members are "Soldiers." This sphere of activity is known as the "Field." Instead of joining The Salvation Army, members are "Enrolled" after signing the "Articles of War." When officers and soldiers die, they are "Promoted to Glory."

Aside from their spiritual leadership, Commissioned Officers serve as administrators, teachers, social workers, counselors, musicians, and youth leaders. These men and women dedicate their lives and skills to The Salvation Army's mission.

Candidates for officer-ship undergo an intensive two-year course in residence at Salvation Army colleges in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, and Rancho Palos Verdes. The curriculum combines theory and field practice, including sociology, social work, psychology, business administration, accounting, community relations, public speaking, Salvation Army doctrine and regulations, and vocal & instrumental music.

After two successful years of training, cadets are commissioned as Captains, ordained as ministers, and assigned to active duty while continuing their education. Captains are required to devote five years to additional studies.  The majority are posted as officers at a Corps and given new marching orders every two to five years and reassigned to different posts - sometimes moving great distances.

 Promotion is based on length of service, character, efficiency, capacity for increased responsibility, and devotion to duty. The ranks include: Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel and Commissioner. The International leader holds the rank of General and is selected by a high council of active-duty Commissioners and Territorial Commanders.

Officers in the Salvation Army receive an allowance/stipend  for their basic needs.  The Salvation Army also provides officers with living quarters, furnishings, and official transportation in the model of a church parsonage.  This organizational structure allows Salvation Army officers to maintain focus and dedication to the mission of the movement.

Soldiers are expected to accept responsibility in the work of The Salvation Army, and whenever possible, participate in Army meetings. They are local citizens in communities who adhere to the doctrines and disciplines of The Army.

Soldiers may teach Sunday-school classes, play musical instruments, join the band, assist the Corps officer in visitation among the poor and sick, or aid in general social work. Trained and qualified soldiers are appointed as "local officers." This corresponds to a non-commissioned officer in the armed forces. Other members of the congregation are adherents who participate in church activities but have not signed on as soldiers.

What We Believe

The beliefs of The Salvation Army are laid out in a body of teachings known as 'Doctrines.'


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