Discover the Sacrifice and Service of U.S. Military Chaplains in Wartime

The museum will be closed August 20 through August 30 for new staff training.
While we are closed, tours are available by appointment.

We will resume regular hours Thursday, August 31.
Monday – Friday 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

National Civil War Chaplains Museum

Throughout American history, military chaplains have exemplified servant leadership in the midst of the challenges of division and war as they worked to meet the spiritual needs of men and women in uniform.


Located on the campus of Liberty University, the Chaplains Museum features an extensive collection of objects and artifacts that tell the stories of U.S. military chaplains in the camp, on the battlefield, and among prisoners of war. Visitors will learn how chaplains from diverse backgrounds have used a variety of means and methods to carry out their ministry during times of war.


Serving with a Unique Purpose

Founded in 2005 as a private organization, the Chaplains Museum is now part of the History Department at Liberty University. Our mission is to showcase the service of U.S. Military Chaplains throughout American history through historical research and the collection and preservation of related artifacts.

The museum also functions as a student laboratory for research, exhibit design, collections care, and special projects.

The Chaplains Museum:

  • Collects, preserves, and studies objects and documents related to military chaplains
  • Encourages student research in topics related to religion in wartime, specifically in the context of military chaplains and their ministry
  • Presents programs that highlight the role of chaplains and military service in shaping the spiritual lives of those who serve in the armed forces

As part of the History Department at Liberty University, the Chaplains Museum has become an active learning laboratory for students.

Plan Your Visit to the Chaplains Museum

Monday through Friday 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Summer Hours (June, July, August)
Monday, Thursday, Friday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The museum is located in the Jerry Falwell Library on Liberty University’s Campus. Learn more about our location and parking.


Devoted to Service

Historically, U.S. military chaplains have performed many roles. They have preached, acted as personal counselors, cared for the sick and dying, handled military postal services, administered literacy programs, and in some cases even joined in battle. View the following exhibits and more at the Chaplains Museum.

Explore All Exhibits
Introducing the Chaplaincy: A History of Service
Shiloh Chapel: Religion and the Bible in Times of War
Partners in Service: Service Organizations Partnering With Chaplains
Service to the Suffering: Chaplains' Ministry in the Hospitals and Prison Camps
Diversity in Service: Unifying With a Common Purpose
Service on the Battlefield: Chaplains in the Midst of Battle
Service on the Homefront: Chaplains Ministry to the Families of Service Members
Chaplains in the Service of the Gospel: Evangelism in the Military

Take the accessible-friendly route to the Chaplains Museum.


Getting to the Museum

The Chaplains Museum can be found on the terrace level of the Jerry Falwell Library. The Library’s main exterior entrance is located at the southern end of the Academic Lawn.

Visitor parking passes are required daily excluding weekends. For further assistance or questions about the parking policy, see LUPD’s visitor parking information.

For directions to campus, shuttle information, and more, explore the university’s visitor’s guide.

We as a nation are currently in the middle of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. On this topic, had this to say: “Since 1988, the United States has celebrated Hispanic Heritage month from September 15th to October 15th. It is a chance to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. The observance was first established as Hispanic Heritage Week by President Lynden B. Johnson in 1968. It was later expanded to a monthlong celebration in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.”

A couple of years ago, on this occasion, Maj. José Martinez, a Hispanic Air Force chaplain and the picture for this post, spoke fondly of the holiday month. According to the second citation:
“I celebrate traditional holidays such as Día de los Muertos, Las Posadas and Cesar Chavez Day as a way to stay connected with my spirituality, ancestry and culture,” said Martinez. “It’s different in the Midwest because it is a mixed group from all different Hispanic groups, but these celebrations still help us be mindful of our unity as humans. . . . I love being a military chaplain,” Martinez said. “It allows me to serve other people and create a safe place for them.”
And it is service that is most like his that we honor in Hispanic Heritage Month.

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #hispanicheritagemonth
We are making steady progress on the parlor. Stay tuned for further updates, and be sure to visit when it’s done!

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #interiordesign
Coming soon . . . stay tuned for updates!

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #libertyfacsdepartment #interiordesign
Introducing: Michael Slye. He’s a senior history major who made the decision to join us this semester as a student worker. His favorite object in the museum is our old Shipping Coffin, seen in the photo, but it is not quite his favorite story. He’s been working hard on researching the story of Chaplain Howell Forgy, who served on the USS New Orleans and was famed for his utterance of the phrase “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!”. That quote became the melody for a patriotic song in World War II by the same name. There is more to the story, and we will show that in a future post which he hopes to contribute to. He jokes that that may take some time, as he tends to give a lot of detail when he works. But we believe it would be worth the time.

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #studentworkers
In the wake of September 11th, 2001, President George W. Bush had much to say and much to do. A particular excerpt from his speech resonates with the mission of the Chaplains Museum: “. . . I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me." Spiritual service is something that all people may take part in, and something that chaplain organizations help to focus into something greater. 

Photo of 9/11 Light Tribute borrow from The New York Times.

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #911 #911memorial
Introducing Benjamin Grist. He’s a first-year graduate student earning his master's degree in history, with a couple of dreams he’s working towards. He hopes to either work in museums full-time after getting his start with us, or to go on to become a professor, but he wants to be clear that whatever God calls him to do is what he will be doing. He’s most fascinated by the historical work of the YMCA in relation to chaplaincy. In the Civil War, they formed a temporary division we know as the USCC, and showed compassion to the men on both sides. That’s something that was exemplified in the event where at the end of the war, they served fresh coffee to soldiers of both sides at Appomattox. Benjamin quite likes the painting of that scene that we have on display, and in a marvelous coincidence, he met the man who made it at a reenactment in Andersonville, Georgia, years ago. After doing some deeper research into Dr. James Naismith (see our previous post for his words on the man) he came to find that there’s much more that the YMCA has done, in more recent wars. For example: in WWII, they partnered with other religious organizations to create the USO (United Service Organizations). We look forward to learning more about them with him.

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #studentworker
Introducing Kyle Cartier: B.S. in History. He wishes to work in public history with a specialization in the preservation of objects and artifacts. He’s one of the many new faces joining us this Fall. He’s currently getting to know our story as well as our methods. A lot has changed since he took his first tour back in 2021. His favorite of these changes is the addition of the Chaplain Garner exhibit, and its coverage of both World War II and Vietnam. We are also looking forward to what he will bring to the table. 

#museum #museums #history #chaplaincy #chaplains #chaplainsmuseum #studentwork


(434) 582-7090


Chaplains Museum

Liberty University Department of History

1971 University Blvd.

Lynchburg, VA 24515