A luncheon will be held at noon at AGTS’ Great Hall, with a question and answer time following, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
“These sessions will be relevant to anyone interested in leadership, not just chaplaincy candidates,” said Stormy Davis, veteran affairs and chaplaincy representative at AGTS.
Those interested in attending the luncheon should contact Davis at (417) 268-1041 or firstname.lastname@example.org by March 19.
In order to become a military chaplain, one must earn an accredited Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree. AGTS has a long history of training chaplains, with more than 100 currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and 32 enrolled as chaplaincy candidates.
Escorting Rutherford on this trip will be Chaplain (LTC) Brad Baumann, his executive officer. Baumann has roots in Springfield, having obtained his M.Div. from AGTS in 1997.
Coordinating the visit is Chaplain (COL) Scott McChrystal (USA, Ret.). He serves as the military and veterans’ representative and endorser for the Assemblies of God Chaplaincy Department and is a 1985 AGTS graduate.
“We see Chaplain Rutherford’s visit as win-win,” said McChrystal. “We hope to provide him a good look at how AGTS functions to prepare military chaplains, while also introducing him to our students, staff and faculty.
“On our side, we will have a huge opportunity to get his input and perspectives about military chaplaincy, particularly pertaining to how we can enhance our education and training,” added McChrystal.
Chaplain Rutherford will be available for a Q&A following lunch.
“Anyone at that luncheon will be free to ask him questions relating to military chaplaincy,” said McChrystal. “At every forum I’ve ever witnessed him responding to questions, he is always insightful, open, and manifests tremendous wisdom gained through years of experience.”
Rutherford became the Army’s 23rd Chief of Chaplains in 2011. He is the chief supervising officer of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps.
Before 2011, his most recent Chaplain assignments included serving as the Army's 22d Deputy Chief of Chaplains at the Pentagon; Command Chaplain United States Army Europe and 7th Army, Heidelberg, Germany; and Command Chaplain Multi-National Corps Iraq, Camp Victory, Baghdad Iraq.
Chaplain Donald L. Rutherford is a native of Kinderhook, N.Y. Ordained as a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany in 1981, he served as associate pastor of St. Gabriel’s Church in Schenectady, N.Y.; as Roman Catholic chaplain of Albany Medical Center Hospital, Albany, N.Y.; and as parochial vicar of St Mary’s Parish, Oneonta, N.Y.
In 1977, he received his commission through The State University of New York at Albany ROTC Program where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology. He received an educational delay from active duty in order to attend St Bernard’s Seminary of the University of Rochester, N.Y., where he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree in 1981. In addition, in 2000 he was awarded a Master in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
His military education includes the Chaplain Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Airborne Course, the Combined Arms and Services Staff School, the Command and General Staff College, the Division and Installation Chaplain Courses, and the United States Army War College.
Chaplain Rutherford has served in Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Hurricane Andrew Relief, Operation Desert Thunder and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
His military awards include the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the South West Asia Service Medal with two Bronze Stars, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Army Superior Unit Award, the Saudi Arabia Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, the Army Staff Identification Badge, the Combat Action Badge and the Parachutist Badge.