National Citizenship Award presented to Denver Seminary Faculty member Dr. Jan McCormack

McCormack was one of the first generation of women to serve as a military chaplain; her contributions paved the way for other women to follow.

Chaplain Jan McCormack, associate professor and chair of Chaplaincy and Pastoral Counseling Programs at Denver Seminary, was awarded the 2021 National Citizenship Award by the Military Chaplains Association of the United States of America, on Oct. 5, in Columbia, SC.

This prestigious award is presented annually to recognize an individual or individuals who make a significant contribution in public service and who support the values and needs of US military members and their families.

Past recipients include Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullins, Senator Sam Nunn, and the Regimental Sergeant Major of Army Religious Affairs Specialists, Stephen Stott.

“As a retired Air Force chaplain, Chaplain McCormack was one of the first generation of women who served as a military chaplain,” said Lyman Smith, director of communications, Military Chaplains Association. “Her long and storied career helped redefine military chaplaincy as an inclusive profession and her collaboration and contributions over the years paved the way for many to follow.”

Chaplain McCormack was a founding member of Women United in Ministry, a non-profit organization that supported women seeking to serve and serving as military chaplains. Their work included helping with training, providing mentoring, and advocating where and when needed to ensure military chaplaincy was fully available for all qualified candidates. The work of Women United in Ministry continues today as part of the Military Chaplains Association.

In addition, McCormack produced The Work of the Chaplain, which has served as a foundational overview and introduction of chaplaincy through the last 100 years. The publication provides history, training, and guidance, which today serves as the basis for chaplaincy programs across the country. She was also instrumental in developing and implementing one of the first Master of Divinity programs with an emphasis in chaplaincy.

“We are honored to celebrate Dr. Jan McCormack, as she receives the National Citizenship Award,” said Denver Seminary President Dr. Mark Young. “Her work has been critical and influential in the field of chaplaincy, and the transformative effects of her service will reach across the nation for decades to come.”

McCormack remains a minister of the American Baptist Churches-USA and serves as chair of their Endorsement Committee for chaplains. She serves as an advisory board member of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab and the Marsh Center for Chaplaincy Studies. McCormack is a National Faculty Certified Educator with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. She continues to teach on a regular basis and speaks often at national and denominational gatherings to encourage and support chaplains from all faith communities.

The Military Chaplains Association is an organization chartered by Congress with the mission of looking after the professional interest of both military and government agency chaplaincies.

For more information, contact Andrea Weyand, senior director of Communications, at andrea.weyand@denverseminary.edu or 720.492.0240.