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Diefendorf - Chaplain - Columbia, SC, USA

Karen Diefendorf

Columbia, SC, USA




Clinically qualified chaplain with 30+ years of pastoral experience. Beginning the credenial process with Association for Professional Chaplains.

Work History


Training Development Division, US Army Chaplain Center and School

January 2010 - January 2014

Chief, Oversight of the content of everything trained at the US Army Chaplain School; coordination of all fiscal and materiel resources; interface with the Army Chief of Chaplains to ensure his intent was met and all training was in sync with all Army requirements. Supervised 15 chaplains, assistants, and contractors.

Academic Dean

Lincoln Christian University

August 2006 - January 2010

Responsible for planning, developing and implementing policies,programs and procedures to ensure the orderly operations of an accredited undergraduate college. Managed a 7.5 million dollar budget, all personnel decisions. Participated in community planning as it related to the interest of the University and the needs of the students. Member of Rotary and other local organizations to represent LCU. Worked closely with the Director of Development to encourag charitable resource development of time, talent, and dollars to provide scholarships and other needed campus development.

Force Structure Officer

Army Chief of Chaplains

June 2004 - July 2006

Force Structure Office, Responsible for the funding of every Army Chaplain and Chaplain Assistant position, Active, Guard and Reserve. Ensured that positions were not downsized during a critical war-time requirement. Worked with the lawyer for the Secretary of Defense on Constitutional matters relating to religious support of all soldiers and family members.

Personnel Officer


June 2002 - May 2004

Assigned all incoming and outbound chaplains to positions within Korea. Made critical decisions related to what positions could not be filled during shortfalls related to supporting wartime efforts. Reported directly to the Command Chaplain, US Forces Korea and 8th US Army.


Religious Retreat Center

July 2001 - June 2002

Director, Complete oversight of a 75 bed "hotel" complex complete with dining facility. Managed 15 full-time staff to include Korean nationals who served as cooks, housekeeping, and wait staff.
Responsible for the consistent administration of specific requirements, such as completion of forms, reports, achievement of financial objectives and budgets for submission to 8th US Army, as required.

Brigade Chaplain


July 1999 - July 2001

Brigade Chaplain, Supervised, trained, coached, and mentored 4 subordinate chaplains, 8 chaplain assistants, and 4 Korean chaplain assistants (Korean Augmentees to the US Army/KATUSA). Provided religious support and pastoral care to the premier theater aviation unit providing air transportation to US Forces/Korea to include the Ambassador.

Chaplain Resource Manager

June 1998 - June 1999

Developer, Chaplain Officer Basic Course and Ethics Instructor

US Army Chaplain Center and School

May 1994 - June 1998

Ethics Subject Matter Expert and Chaplain Officer Basic Course Developer; Provided all guidance to all instructors on the development of the first course Army Chaplains and Chaplain Candidates take to become qualified as Army Chaplains. Personally designed the 12 week, four phased course to meet the intent of the Army Chief of Chaplains. Served as the Ethics and Leadership instructor, including writing the “Beliefs” section of the Army’s Field Manual, FM 22-100 on Leadership.

Chaplain Clinician

Tri-Services Alcohol Recovery Facility

January 1989 - December 1992

Chaplain Clinician; Provided specialized pastoral services to adults and dependent persons, their families, staff and volunteers in a six-week resident treatment program; developed and taught a 6 session Spiritual Aspects of Recovery from Addiction program; co-counselor in group therapy. Also served as chaplain to the Psychiatry Ward and on-call to the entire Army Medical Center.

Battalion Chaplain

US Army

September 1986 - December 1989

Chaplain to 84th Combat Heavy Engineer Battalion; Provided pastoral care and religious programs for over 600 soldiers plus family members; traveled to wherever our Civic Action Teams were providing services to 3rd World countries to ensure ethical behavior on the part of our soldiers and to conduct marriage reunion/reintegration training for both the soldiers and the spouses.
Chaplain to 2nd MASH, Officer Candidate School and 1/507th Parachute Infantry Regment; Conducted weekly worship for over 1500 trainees; provided spiritual and pastoral support during training that was dangerous and physically demanding. Jumped out of airplanes with soldiers and did hundreds of hours of counseling for soldiers, their trainers/cadre and spouses. Taught Stress Management Classes for the Infantry Officer Wives Seminars.


Pastor, Elkhart United Methodist Church

June 1983 - June 1986

Full pastoral duties as the sole pastor of a small, rural community congregation. Served as President of the area ministerial association and served as a Trustee, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in order to participate in community concerns and planning.

Associate Minister

First United Methodist Church

Endorsed by the Christian Church/Churches of Christ
Pursing certification with the Association of Professional Chaplains

Member Association for Clinical Pastoral Education

Qualifications & Certifications

Sacred Theology

Yale University

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Lincoln Christian Seminary

Christian Education

Lincoln Christian University

Brownstown Central High School, Brownstown, Indiana

Doctor of Ministry

Lexington Theological Seminary

Seoul Christian University

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