AF Chaplain Corps College returns to Maxwell

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman William Blankenship
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force Chaplain Corps College officially returns to Maxwell on April 1, 2017, after being in the Palmetto State for nearly seven years.

The college had been operating at the Army’s Fort Jackson in South Carolina after it was moved there effective May 6, 2010, following a Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision in 2005 to co-locate all military chaplaincy training at one location.

Along with its move to Fort Jackson in 2010, the college was renamed to its current name from the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Service Institute.  At Fort Jackson, the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center was created to coordinate initiatives, activities and cooperation between the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School, the U.S. Naval Chaplaincy School and the Air Force Chaplain Corps College because each school’s training remained independent.   

Before the co-location venture at Fort Jackson, the college called Maxwell home from 1966-2010. The college was established at Lackland AFB, Texas, in 1960 and moved to Maxwell in 1966.

In 1992, the Chapel Management School which trained Chaplain Service Support Personnel, moved from Keesler AFB, Mississippi to Maxwell and integrated with the chaplain school.   

“Although we'll miss sharing real estate with our Army and Navy colleagues at Fort Jackson, we're thrilled to return to Maxwell,” said Air Force Chief of Chaplains Maj. Gen. Dondi Costin. “All things considered, plugging back into Air University, the ‘intellectual and leadership-development center of the Air Force,’ is our best move by far.  There's no better location than Maxwell to equip the Air Force chaplain corps to develop spiritually fit Airmen to fly, fight, and win.”  

The college teaches nine distinct professional continuing education courses and one technical training course numerous times a year.  The courses range from three days to six weeks and approximately 400 students graduate from the college annually.

“The Chaplain Corps College is very excited to return to Maxwell,” said Lt. Col. Kleet Barclay, Air Force Chaplain Corps College commandant. “The support from Air University and the 42nd Air Base Wing has been phenomenal as we worked through numerous relocation issues.  The benefits of being back within the confines of the ‘intellectual and leadership-development center of the Air Force’ are already evident.  Personnel from the Eaker Center for Professional Development, Air War College, air base wing, Center for Strategic Leadership Communication, Air Force Negotiation Center, and Judge Advocate General’s School have already enhanced course content and experiences for chaplains and chaplain assistants. We are truly blessed to be back in this innovative and dynamic environment.”

Transitioning back to Maxwell required some coordination.  Chaplain instructors were required to teach two courses last year at Maxwell, one in August and one in September, to demonstrate initial operating capability, said Barclay. Once the two course were successfully completed, permission was granted for all courses to transition back to Maxwell, where they have been taught since January.  

"I look at the benefit of returning to Maxwell as two-fold,” said Chief Master Sgt. Dale McGavran, Air Force career field manager for chaplain assistants. “First, it allows our chaplain assistant career field to return to a hybrid accession process. We will be able to continue to accept retrainees, but we will now be able to access non-prior service students.  This will assist in bringing a more structured balance with regard to the enlisted force.  Second, the return to Maxwell will help in the professional development of chaplains and chaplain assistants as they will be better positioned to interact with the center of professional development for the Air Force, Air University, and its organizational network of support."

In April, there will be an open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate the official move to Maxwell. Several active duty and retired senior chaplains and chaplain assistants, to include Chaplain, Maj. Gen. Costin, plan to be in attendance for the commemorative event.