Project Advance Town Hall Q & A

On February 3, 2022, a virtual territory-wide Town Hall Meeting about Project Advance was held. Many questions were asked and answered, but time did not permit covering all inquiries that were submitted. Here are the answers to more of your questions by category.

What is the rationale behind the change? Why was it necessary?

Project Advance aims at extending The Salvation Army’s mission by reducing some of the barriers that have arisen in recent years: economic and population declines, declines in the number of Active Officers, under-resourced Divisions, among others. We trust that a reorganization of the Central Territory will allow us to more effectively reach and serve those in need.

How will Project Advance help us to be more effective in advancing our mission to Save Souls, Grow Saints and Serve Suffering Humanity?

In the past we have tied up critical resources in structures and processes that are far removed from where the action is, where souls are saved, where saints are strengthened and where suffering humanity is served. Project Advance aims at doing the opposite: reallocating financial and personnel resources to the field where most of the missional work of our Army’s occurs. We will know that Project Advance has been successful when our front-line ministries are resourced at a level where they can be truly effective. More funding will be allocated to corps and service centers to maintain our facilities, pay our workers competitive wages, and offer excellent, transformative service to all of those who come to us in need. It will be successful as we unleash more high-capacity leaders to corps and service centers who can build strong and empowered high morale teams that will provide continuity of vision and quality of service in our communities well into the future, leading to more preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs in his name without discrimination.

What will the reorganization from 10- to 8-Divisions look like? Will all divisions be impacted?

Six of the ten current divisions will face some changes while Heartland and Western Michigan Northern Indiana will experience the most change.

  • Western Division and the Iowa corps presently part of the Heartland Division will unite
  • Illinois corps that have been a part of the Heartland Division will unite with the Illinois corps of the Metropolitan Division to form the new “North & Central Illinois” Division
  • All Indiana corps in WMNI and all Lake County, IN corps presently part of Metro will be part of the Indiana Division
  • The corps located in Western and Eastern Michigan will unite to become what will now be called “Great Lakes Division”

There will also be Area Commands and Area Coordinators that will provide additional leadership across the territory.

What will be the names of all Divisions when transitioning to an 8-division territory? Are they final?

Some of the divisions will have new names after July 2022. The divisions of the Central Territory will be called: Great Lakes, Indiana, Kansas and Western Missouri, Midland, North & Central Illinois, Northern, Western, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

What impact will it have at the Divisional level?

Four divisions (Indiana, North & Central Illinois, Great Lakes, and Western) will have additional corps and geographic territory. There will also be an expansion of the number of Area Commands to help provide support and oversight closer to where service is taking place.

How will we measure the effectiveness of the new divisions? What changes to the measurement scorecard need to be made?

  • We’ll be looking at competitive wages for employees as we reallocate resources. We already have a project in our territory where we are looking to raise the competitive wage of our frontline social service staff, especially involved in Pathway of Hope because turnover is a huge problem that impacts our mission. Project Advance is all about reallocating resources from low-impact activities, procedures, and structures to higher impact missional advances.
  • There are methods HR uses to measure morale across the territory. We are hoping as we reallocate resources and move high-capacity leaders to places closer to the field, we see morale improve.
  • One of the key inputs spiritually is a real emphasis on praying with everyone who comes within our sphere of influence, every person who walks through the door for social services.
  • We’re working on a Project Advance scorecard that will lay out a number of other outcome-based measurements that will be monitored carefully as we move forward to ensure we are achieving the outcomes expected from this change.

Are there any internal changes involved in the reorganization? What processes and business systems will change?  Will the changes include upgrading The Salvation Army’s technology and practices?

Most of the changes that are needed for our working systems won’t be seen nor perceived by most. Most operations will remain unaffected. Accounting, direct mail, allocation of Legacies and Requests, and emails will remain similar. The change to Office 365 is already done and Teams and Zoom are standard operations now. Streaming opportunities are improving from THQ. Additionally, local divisions will continue to help with streaming needs as they are able. Project Advance will lead to improved efficiency as fewer states will report to multiple divisional headquarters.

What impact will it have at the corps level?

The immediate impact is that corps moving to a new division will report to a new DHQ. Additionally, because there will be an increased missional focus, we anticipate greater community engagement and support, which should result in additional resources for ministry at the local level.

It has been mentioned that more resources will be sent to the field. What exactly does that mean?

Resources are in management, pastoral care, and finances.

If you used to be a Divisional Commander, you were having to be the DC of the division, you also had to be a city coordinator managing a city area, and you had to be caring for the whole division. It is very difficult for one or two individuals to do this from DHQ.

With the increased use of Area Commanders and Area Coordinators, a stronger focus can happen on local areas and resources can be closer to where our communities are being served, leading to better resources where we are able to serve others. This will help facilitate resources, decisions, and pastoral care to the corps as fast as possible.

How will Project Advance help our local corps officers/leaders be able to embed and engage themselves in the communities in which they serve? How will we serve more people due to Project Advance?

By taking the time to look at what you’re doing, where we’re doing it, and how we’re doing it, we can figure out ways to serve our communities that we haven’t been doing in the past. When we take our financial resources, put them together and use them in a direction where they can serve the most people and do the most good; that is how we are able to serve more people. This will allow, as we head down the road, to have the opportunity to do more than we’ve ever done before.

Will the changes cause an increase in paperwork and bureaucracy for officers?

The whole onset of Project Advance has been to accomplish more missional work and more officers involved actively advancing our mission. Adding more paperwork and bureaucracy would be detrimental to this goal.

What impact does Project Advance have on ARCC? Will ARCC debt be addressed?

At this point, Project Advance does not affect the Adult Rehabilitation Center Command. We continue to work with the ARCC to determine how to best operate the Centers for the benefit of both the beneficiaries and the Territory. The Command is working how best to respond to a number of economic challenges they have been facing through initiatives put in place to increase the margin of support that is available monetarily to run the Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command and pay their Support Service without negatively impacting the program that continues to help so many people who are suffering from addiction. Additionally, the Command has already taken steps to address their economic challenges through a number of strategies, including their decision to close two Centers, which had for at least the last ten years been unable to operate in a positive net revenue before 10% Support Service to THQ, or provide any resources to fund ARC Command operations.

Have other Territories experienced changes like this and what were the major positive outcomes from these changes?

The Central Territory is not the first Territory to undertake such a change. The Southern Territory conducted a reorganization of their territory in 2019-2020, for example. All territories are constantly looking for ways to improve their ministerial impact, and this is a way to accomplish it.

Is the July 1st date to have this completed based solely on officer moves?

July 1st is a time where several pieces come together. While not all financial aspects will necessarily happen at the same time, officer moves are helpful for us to make happen now.  It’s a very difficult thing to have this transition while we have a divisional commander. So, we have a confluence coming just at this time, where we have key retirements that are happening, and we don’t have to create a divisional leader that then has to be reassigned to a different appointment. It has worked out that this July happened to be the perfect time for us to make this change and implement Project Advance

Why is the timeline so short for such a big change? We take years to transition software but less than half a year to redraw division lines. it’s confusing for DHQ staff and very stressful.

We admit we have had a lot of change when it comes to software in the last few years. Outlook and Microsoft Office took six months to implement. In comparison, we have been talking about the concepts behind Project Advance for a couple of years, and only toward the end of last summer did it come to the point where we could make a specific proposal.

Here in the Central Territory, we are serving in a submissive relationship with International Headquarters: Before we were able to submit our plans to IHQ, we first had to study the concept of Territorial Reorganization. This process began in 2019. Once we received conceptual approval to develop a plan, a multi-disciplinary task force was created including representatives from across the Central Territory. The plan was approved by IHQ near the end of 2021. Now we are at the point of rolling this change out and making announcements.

We also understand there is a lot of angst right now amongst employees, in particular about their jobs and so forth. Increasing our timeline for a year or two will magnify it. On the other hand, we are not rushing this change and are going about it in a systematic fashion.  The planning leading up to Project Advance has been in the works for years and we are judiciously moving through the transition plan to make it a reality.

Will there be a phase 2 to this reorganization?

This is not the first time that the Central Territory has reorganized and there may come a time in the future when we need to do this again. That being said, there are no immediate plans for further reorganization.

What is an Area Commander? What is an Area Coordinator?

After the reorganization, because several divisions will be much larger, we need to have increased pastoral care on the frontlines. We need to be able to provide some efforts that will help push decision-making as far out to the frontlines as we can. Divisional Secretaries for Area Command will be put in place to do this.

Area commanders will serve on their Divisional Finance Board and will serve in that area as a member of the divisional staff, but on the field. They will possess decision-making responsibility and the officers that are within that command will report directly to them. We are delegating some authority that has been held traditionally at our Divisional Headquarters out to the Area Commanders. We are pushing those decision-making pieces out in the field as far as we can, so that the operations can happen faster and approvals can come faster for those who are working on the frontlines.

More information will be available about both Area Commands and Area Coordinators, including the BOA’s for those people who will be undertaking these roles. This is an important step forward for our organization to make us better.

What can staff expect in areas where Area Commands are being implemented?

Hopefully, staff can expect to feel supported and encouraged with a renewed emphasis on mission and ministry at the local level. Many employees may be given more opportunities for leadership.  Area Commanders will be tasked with supporting all the ministries within the command in new and innovative ways.

Will an Area Commander have an additional appointment as a corps officer or be able to focus on his/her primary appointment?

Area Commanders are expected to focus on the business of The Salvation Army, public relations, social services, fund raising, community relations, and supporting corps and institutions in the area. It is not expected that they will have an additional appointment as a corps officer.  Their primary responsibility will be to reduce the burden on the corps and institutional officers in that area.

Are you open to having a civilian be an Area Commander/Coordinator?

At this time, all Area Commanders and Area Coordinators are Officers. It is possible that an Envoy (ministry employee) could be considered for one of these positions in the future. However, in general, these positions are presently held by officers.

Where will DHQs, Area Commands & Area Coordination be located after the reorganization?

  • Great Lakes (DHQ: Detroit, MI)
    • Area Commands: Metro Detroit, MI; Grand Valley, MI (Grand Rapids, MI) , MI; Mid-Michigan (Flint, MI)
  • Indiana (DHQ: Indianapolis, IN)
    • Area Command: Indianapolis, IN; Northwest Indiana (Hammond, IN)
    • Area Coordination: Southwest Indiana (Evansville, IN)
  • Kansas and Western Missouri (DHQ: Kansas City, MO)
    • Area Commands: Kansas City, MO; South Central Kansas (Wichita, KS)
  • Midland (DHQ: St. Louis, MO)
    • Area Commands: St. Louis, MO; Quincy, IL
  • North & Central Illinois (DHQ: Chicago, IL)
    • Area Commands: Chicago, IL; Peoria, IL
    • Area Coordination: Winnebago County (Rockford, IL)
  • Northern (DHQ: Minneapolis, MN)
    • Area Command: Twin Cities, MN
    • Area Coordination: Western North Dakota (Bismarck, ND); Iron Range (Duluth, MN)
  • Western (DHQ: Omaha, NE)
    • Area Command: Omaha, NE
    • Area Coordination: Quad Cities (Davenport, IA); Capital Area (Des Moines, IA); Black Hills, SD
  • Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (DHQ: Milwaukee, WI)
    • Area Command: Milwaukee, WI
    • Area Coordination: Brown County (Green Bay, WI); Capital Area (Madison, WI); Rock County (Janesville, WI); Upper Peninsula Area Coordinator (Escanaba, MI)

How will our social services outreach be affected by Project Advance?

First, we need to say how proud I am of the social service outreach that is being done in this territory in the name of Christ. We are the leader in Pathway of Hope and we are the leader in commitment to excellence in our work, in training, and in evaluation. Our professional Social Service staff is unparalleled. I don’t see any of this changing. The aim of Project Advance is to reallocate more resources to commit to this work and to keep improving Pathway of Hope and a full integration of gospel power with social service best practices.

Are there plans on how to make Camp Ministry excellent despite transitioning officers and divisional lines changing?

Yes. One of our issues at Camp is the timing of our officer moves, year-in and year-out.  As we look to the future, we have plans to strengthen the role of permanent camp administrators (lay staff) and ensure that all of our camps are ACA accredited. We believe that both of these changes will increase the excellence of our camping ministry.  We also believe that with fewer camps to operate, we will have additional resources available to use towards deferred maintenance projects.

Are there significant programmatic changes being mandated as part of the PA reorganization?

Not at all.  We must get out of the program mandating business and into the mission advancement business. Always putting people ahead of program.

The people closest to the action in our communities should be setting strategies for missional advancement in their community, with DHQ and THQ coming alongside as cheerleaders, as resources, as equippers…not mandators.

Will there be specific changes to our approach to camping ministry?

There will not be a lot of changes in our approach nor for the 2022 camping season in the venues in which we have historically done our camping ministry.

By 2023 we expect the 8 divisions that make up the Central Territory to be fully transitioned. The divisional camp for the Great Lakes division will be Echo Grove and for the North & Central Illinois division will be the Wonderland camp.

What is the plan for corps having to travel longer distance to reach camps?

People will have longer to drive in some instances, but we don’t believe the added time will be unreasonable. We have had the luxury through the years to have camps in close proximity to most of our corps, unlike in other territories.  Geographically, the Great Lakes Divisional Camp (Echo Grove) and the North & Central Illinois Divisional Camp (Wonderland) will not present an undue transportation burden on any corps.

What will the 360 Life Centers look like (i.e. how they operate)?

360 Life Centers are an exciting model of ministry that captures the transformation and distinctive, wholistic mission of The Salvation Army without the full weight of staffing, facilities and other expenses that are typically associated with a full Corps/Community Center ministry.  The mission is the same and the structure is streamlined and less dependent on day-to-day officer personnel.

Where does Emergency Disaster Services fit? What will happen with divisions where there are two directors?

Every division will be looking at staffing and placement for all of our services and will make decisions that will serve the best interests of the people we serve.  We hope to make those decisions by April 1.

Has any thought been given to gathering with all EDDs/EDs during ADVANCE to discuss a paradigm shift in how the program is carried out moving forward?

Up until this point in the process, EDS has not been a topic of discussion in terms of changing our approach in light of Project Advance.  As always, the Territorial Leadership will always be open to new ideas that will help us to be more missionally effective, and we encourage our soldiers, officers, staff and friends to communicate them to us for consideration.

What will happen to non-liquid assets of corps that are closed? Will they be used to pay off debt or to go in frontline corps?

The goal of Project Advance is to relocate resources to areas that will improve our missional impact. Frontline corps is one of the most impactful areas of the Army and will receive the attention and resources they need.

Will corps be opened anywhere as part of Project Advance?

Church and corps planting is at the core of Project Advance. Growing and expanding our Army by reaching out more efficiently to communities is one goal of Project Advance. Criteria for opening corps are already being investigated and being considered throughout the Central Territory.

Will corps be closed or merged? Which ones and when? Will there be a decision on whether or not said Corps will be closed for better fiscal management/stewardship of our financial resources?

As of now, it was decided to not have any closures or mergers until the reorganization takes place, except for the ones that are already taking place outside of Project Advance’s scope. However, we want to ensure that quality services, programs, and spiritual ministry are organized as we right-size The Salvation Army’s presence in our communities. To that aim, Divisional Leaders along with THQ are discussing criteria to use to assess corps for shifts in operational processes and/or scope of activities, as well as potential transition to outposts and service extension units.

The timing of any changes is yet to be determined but tentatively, it would not take place until after the reorganization. Further input and communication would need to occur to determine the steps forward. This process is not to be rushed, as each corps is evaluated and the best course of actions is set, following the Mission and Program Council (MPC) process.

How will you determine which division gets the debt of the area?

We do not want corps that have debt to walk into a new united division with that debt. Currently, divisional leadership is working on plans to pay those debts, and THQ is working with them to make sure that no corps arrive to a new united division with any debts.

Secondly, the most important thing is that we stay out of debt and that there’s no incurring debt from this point forward, so that corps can continue to be debt-free and sustainable. God will help us do that as we help perform this transition.

If a Corps is unable to pay off a debt that is in place, will there be a decision on whether or not said Corps will be closed for better fiscal management/stewardship of our financial resources?

There are currently no plans to close corps.  Every corps should try to stay current in their bills.  DHQ and then THQ will be putting plans together with officers on illuminating past debt so that all corps can enter the new division debt free.

Corps officers move into corps that are in debt all the time so why would this be such a huge deal?

If an officer moves into a corps with debt, then it has been historic debt that was not caused by them.  If they can show they have the leadership capacity to keep current or even increase their resources, then a division can help try to eliminate past debt.  Some corps officers have been able to eliminate past corps debt because of their efforts.

How are Grand Rapids and Peoria receiving “more resources?”

Not being a divisional headquarters, they will not have the expense of more officers.  Dropping from 7 to 2 officers is a great savings.  In reality, those cities do fine in their finances.  It is the General Funds of a division that is hard to sustain.  It takes many corps to support a division.  By uniting divisions, it makes it more economical and efficient.  With an Area Commander, they will concentrate on supporting fewer corps under their care and therefore it will be human resources of time that increase for those corps.  The staff should also be able to concentrate on fund raising for that city and increase support so that more mission activities can take place.

How will funding and grants be dispersed among the different corps? Rural vs Urban?

Every corps in the division is responsible for their own grants and fund raising.  Unless they are in an Area Command or Coordination.  They will work with the Area Command to find funds and will still get an allocation for their corps like they do now.  Kettles will still be their opportunity for direct funding as well.  Again, funding should not change for any corps at this time just because of a divisional change.

Could we know that Project Advance also helps to cover the deficit of Officers in the field, and the reduction of the dollar income?

Project Advance is helping confront the decline of officers by uniting 6 divisions so that there are 8 to 10 officers available for other appointments.  The reduction of dollars for this does not help the situation of the number of corps that need to be filled.  There are still not enough officers and cadets to cover the retirements and resignations that are taking place.  Pray that God will send workers to the field of harvest.  Make sure you are doing all you can in your appointment, whatever it is, to grow it for the kingdom and not have to consider closing in the future.

Would the divisions benefit more financially if they just switch to a permanent work from home model?

No.  Personnel is the greatest expense in your budget.  Working from home does not diminish this expense.  If buildings could be closed, it might help some of the overhead expenses, but in the two divisions that are being united, DHQ’s actually have programs and city functions so they will not be saving any overhead for the building.  Also, our service is to people.  You can’t do that from home.   People need to know that buildings are open for them and that we are there to show them Jesus by what we do and how we care.

Planned gifts secured by gift officers of the old division from donors in the new division… which division will own these?

Planned gifts will continue to be allocated by the donor’s written directions. In the case of a planned gift which names a division which no longer exists, our Finance and Legal Departments are working out the process to allocate them to the new Division based on where the donor lives, or the communities the donor directs should receive the gift.

When will introductions and involvement of HR staff and transition of employees take place?

Divisions are already coming together and building organizational charts where each one of us fits in in this mission advancement that we have. The goal right now is that by the first week in April the majority of the transitioning employees will know their positions or status in these new divisions. In this way you will begin to meet and be oriented on the new operations of your new advancing division.

How is this change being communicated?

Change is communicated via Central Connection Newsletter – accessible by anyone at Project Advance’s impact should be minimal on volunteers and clients, as services and programs offered will remain. Contact your Change Agents and talk with them about Project Advance.

How are you intentionally outreaching to the corps and employees to ensure feedback is truly representative of the territory?

Several initiatives have been put in place to ensure that corps and employees can voice feedback to help us make decisions with all the information available. These initiatives are the Project Advance Mailbox ([email protected]), a mailbox created solemnly to obtain feedback from our entire territory about Project Advance, Change Agent Network, a group composed of 2 representants per division to be a point of contact for those in their division with a direction connection to the Project Advance Management Office team, Town Hall, where we address your questions and concerns, and our Territorial Survey, where you are asked to provide feedback about Project Advance.

How will all of this information be communicated to Retired Officers who may not have access to modern technology to receive this information?

While most retired officers have access to digital communication, there are a few who for various reasons do not have good access and we want them to be well informed of Territorial developments which would include Project Advance.  They all receive mailed copies of Central Connection.  Additionally, the Retired Officer Department strives to keep our Retired Officers well informed and will include Project Advance updates in their newsletter.

Is there a way that Soldiers who do not have an SA email address can receive email messages and information directly?

Those who do not have a Salvation Army email address can use their personal emails to communicate

How can the stakeholders within the central territory help project advance and have a voice in the process?

  • By participating in future forums where Project Advance is being discussed.
  • Change Agent Network possesses representatives in all Divisions, ARCC, CFOT, & THQ serving as connection points between your division and the Project Advance team. You can reach out to them to voice your insights, feedback, and concerns.
  • Project Advance Mailbox allows you to voice questions, concerns, or suggestions ([email protected]) directly to the Project Advance Management Office team.
  • By participating in our territorial survey: over 2,300 people took part in the January survey, voiced their questions that were addressed during the February Town Hall, and provided additional insights and ideas about Project Advance.

Your suggestions and concerns have been heard and that is why we are putting in place various ways to get your voice heard in this process.

What will the Advisory Board’s role be in Project Advance?

Advisory Boards are important, but they are not territorial. They are local, serving local communities with local resources, local ideas, and helping to advance the mission at a local level. Advisory Boards are still needed. Corps need advisory councils, divisional headquarters that are transitioning such as Grand Rapids still needed advisory boards serving in those communities. We need to communicate that to them, so that they can help the local mission expand in these communities. Many people still need Jesus, and our Advisory Boards can help guide us and provide us resources so that we can reach as many people as possible in His name.

Are officers, employees, and other stakeholders taken into serious consideration prior to decisions being made? Are younger generations represented as part of Project Advance?

Younger generations have been represented at different steps in Project Advance and the initiatives that led to it. At the workstream level, which is where recommendations are made about the reorganization and the new Central Territory, we have young adults of all kinds of diversity of age, race, position, and location.

As we look throughout the divisions, throughout the territory, we are trying to be representative so that we’re hearing from every voice, every demographic that makes up the great Central Territory.

How diverse is your most senior Project Advance Panel?

There are diverse people represented on those panels (including the Project Advance Steering Committee) and in the working groups (Project Advance Workstreams) that are working on the changes taking place. Getting a diverse set of voices coming from all parts of the territory, from various cultures, from different corps and different places in our organization and in life is critical to advance our mission and achieve the goals of Project Advance. Coming together and working together are important for us to be successful in this project.

How can volunteers support this change?

Volunteers are an important part of The Salvation Army, and we will continue to depend on our volunteers to help us serve our communities.  Volunteers can support the changes which are part of Project Advance through their continued engagement and support of The Salvation Army’s service in their communities.  Another way volunteers can support is by sharing that The Army’s mission and service will continue and should actually increase in their community as the changes of Project Advance should help us be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us through greater efficiency and community focus.

How will Project Advance impact the territory’s approach to anti-racism and LGBTQ+ inclusion?

Project Advance will in no way deflect from The Salvation Army’s unwavering commitment to affirming the value and dignity of each person.  Additionally, the Territorial DEI Secretaries and members of the Cabinet (whose responsibility is to work with leadership to develop DEI goals) have worked with each division to develop divisional DEI goals and continue to enhance them as a part of the Territorial realignment. DEI efforts remind us that we cannot get along without each other, that we are interdependent on one another. This is essential if the body of Christ known as TSA is to be salt and light to a world torn apart by racial and cultural strife. The principle of interdependence recognizes our differences, but also believing we each bring something to God’s family that others in the family need, resulting in completeness (2 Corinthians 8:12-14). Interdependence demonstrates the transforming nature of the gospel and declares that we do need each other if we are to live out the ministry of reconciliation.

Will Project Advance release Divisional and Territorial officers to take corps? How does Project Advance help to get officers back into pastoral roles?

There are some Divisional officers who will take on corps appointments. Currently, we are at an all-time low in the number of officers at Territorial Headquarters. While the Appointment Process may result in others being released from Territorial Headquarters, we cannot state that as fact at this time.  All roles held by officers should be considered pastoral roles. Officers work with many people, and there should be no separation between an officer’s spiritual life, business role, organizational role, or any other. We do not consider there to be an absence of pastoral roles for officers.

What changes are being implemented in Project Advance to improve officer morale, especially after a number of officer resignations in recent years?

Project Advance is not the impetus for improving officer morale. This is an ongoing mission of the Personnel Section at THQ. We have instituted many changes in the last ten years that we hope have improved officer morale. Included in this is an appraisal system that focuses on leadership development, opportunities for education that are funded by Territorial Headquarters, Officer Forum responses that include the entire Territory rather than just the person who submitted those ideas, the Personal Comment Survey, Counseling and Spiritual Direction services, Call-in service to CBA for counseling which has been extended to teenage officer children, Leadership development opportunities for officers through certificate programs and Arrow, pastoral care available through the officer support department, the development of a grievance policy and a sabbatical policy. It should be understood that officers leave for a variety of reasons, some may be associated with morale, but many are not.

How does Project Advance help with the shortage of incoming officers?

It frees some officers to return to corps appointments and allows us to reallocate others, so that the work is distributed well.

Will there be changes to officer position structures at THQ and DHQ?

There will be some changes to organizational structure and officer roles at Divisional Headquarters. There have already been changes to the structure of THQ in the last few years.

Will there be any changes of job locations in the divisions transitioning?

Many jobs related to Divisional Headquarters will be retained at the new Area Command.  These jobs may include individuals who will now report directly to Divisional Headquarters.

Will Divisional Commanders change as part of this reorganization?

The Divisional Commander in WMNI will retire and the Divisional Commander in Heartland will return to retirement.

Which officers will be in charge when divisions merge?

Those corps, institutions and staff who will become part of the Great Lakes Division will be led by Lt. Colonels John & Theresa Turner; corps, institutions or staff who will be part of the North & Central Illinois Division will be led by Lt. Colonels Lonneal & Patty Richardson; corps, institutions and staff who will be part of the Indiana Division will be led by Majors Marc & Karen Johnson; corps, institutions and staff who will be part of the Western Division will be led by Majors Greg & Lee Ann Thompson. If the question is in reference to the Area Commands, those leaders will be announced on May 4, 2022.

What percentage of staff is expected to be reduced?

This is hard to determine, but we expect any reductions in staff to be very minimal.

What can we do to lessen the stress on our employees and teams?

Change is stressful. It’s hard to change and we acknowledge that. We know that it’s difficult, and we know that this time will be stressful, but the fact is: it is time for us to change. Project Advance is one of the biggest changes that this territory has seen in a long time.

The first thing we do is recognize that this is going to be hard for people to wrap their minds around and hard for people to just go through this process of change.

The second thing is to share information with others about what the Central Territory is doing now and explain what is happening to try to keep as many people informed as possible.

What metrics will be used to assess which employee keep their job for redundant positions?

These decisions are being made at the Divisional level. There is a desire not to lose valued employees as we move through this process.

Is there a plan for severance pay for those being let go?

Severance plans are being determined in consultation between the Division and the Territorial HR and Legal Departments.

Will Top-Talent with years of experience be able to Review Officers who are placed in leadership that oversee Top-Talent?

The Salvation Army officer review and appraisal system include a 360-degree opportunity. This assessment provides an opportunity to continue Leadership Development, and employees are included in those who may be asked to provide input into the individual officer’s 360.

Has Project Advance considered removing overhead of in-person headquarters with many top companies moving to at-home work?

The Central Territory presently has a remote work policy which includes providing opportunities, where appropriate, for remote work.

How are we preparing the cadets who may enter a corps who is going through this transition to be prepared to minister to those people?

The CFOT Training Principal, Major Brian Davis, reports that the college has addressed the broad parameters of Project Advance in a number of ways.  The Salvationism lecture series has included teaching regarding the need to be mindful of those in transition—wanted or unwanted. This includes congregations and communities where transition is taking place.  In the Personal Management course (taught in the last quarter of training to cadets about to be Commissioned), there is an entire module dealing with transition/change both personally and corporately. There is particular emphasis on how to start well in a new appointment and how to lead others through the grieving process brought on by transition. The dynamics of Project Advance will be included as part of the class discussion. In addition, the introductory courses for pastoral care and counseling, includes extended discussion on the topic of grief and loss, noting that grief/loss pertains not only to death, but to a number of situations in life. We believe cadets will be prepared to apply what they learn in these courses to the experiences of the soldiers and employees in the corps directly affected by Project Advance.

How will this initiative help recruit more cadets?

This is an ongoing task. We are always looking for new ways to recruit others to join the mission of The Salvation Army through officership.  The present Ministry Discovery Program provides opportunities for those who are not yet soldiers or are new to the Army to experience ministry within the Army. The Assistant Territorial Candidates’ Secretary has made many new connections with colleges who align with us theologically to connect with graduating ministry students. It’s hoped that Eschelon and other initiatives will assist in introducing The Salvation Army to those who will be drawn to the mission and ministry of The Salvation Army. We are also working harder to expand those involved in the Auxiliary Captain training as a second career. These individuals have been a great addition to the officer corps of the Central Territory.

It was mentioned that there would be an increase of investment in Top Talents. What does it entail?

Salvation Army employees are talented and skilled individuals who are missional, creative and innovative. Each employee is a fantastic resource to The Salvation Army, and we never want to take them, or their part in the mission, for granted. Every employee should feel appreciated, heard, and valued. Continued investment comes as we intentionally affirm, respectfully listen, and constructively engage employees in missional opportunities for work and service.  Our investment includes providing ongoing access to training and development opportunities.  With increased skills and training should also come increased opportunities for using those capabilities.  Additionally, The Salvation Army remains committed to full time employees having access to formal continuing education benefit.

Are there any plans being put together for leadership development moving forward, acknowledging that there will be some unique leadership positions coming out of this for which officers and leaders haven’t been trained before?

The Personnel workstream is working on these plans. These plans include informational meetings at the transitioning headquarters, training for Area Commanders and Area Coordinators, an ongoing training program for Divisional Officers, a proposed Leadership and Management Certificate program for both officers and management employees.  The meetings at transitioning headquarters are already taking place between transitioning headquarters. The training for Area Commanders and Area Coordinators will likely take place late in May. The other training programs are longer term goals, but the idea is that they would be put into place by the fall of 2023.

Have any considerations been made regarding the length of time an officer/Captain can remain at their current posts?

It has been the desire of Territorial Leadership that officers remain in their appointments 4-5 years. Because of attrition and the need for individuals in higher leadership appointments, we have not always been able to keep officers in their appointments for this length of time. Leadership takes officer needs and concerns very seriously. This is one of the purposes of the annual personal comment survey. Leadership is a strong proponent of annual consultation between officers and their Command Leaders, and consultation is a required element in the appointment process. As you may imagine, though Personnel provides an outline of consultation, this process may look different from one Command Head to another.

When will staff in camps be notified of changes?

At this point, there is no expectation that staffing for camps will be adversely impacted during the 2022 camping season. Moving forward, any decisions made regarding the future of a camp would be communicated by Divisional Leadership, and we expect that it would be communicated several months before any potential closing.

Will wages be examined and reconsidered for officers and soldiers as well?

Officer wages are determined annually by the Commissioners’ Conference. Many elements go into this decision including the level of benefits being provided. I assume the reference to soldiers is to Envoys. Envoys are contracted employees and negotiate their salaries with Command leadership on an annual basis.

When you speak of competitive pay, how competitive are you talking? As a nonprofit I believe it will be hard to pay a competitive wage and stay out of debt.

Whether or not we are a nonprofit, we have the responsibility to treat employees with respect and to pay them a living wage. We will continue to work hard to ensure employees are being paid properly.

Is the level of emphasis for increased wages for social services employees the same for thrift store employees? 

We are concerned about all employees no matter their position. It is our plan to ensure that employees are paid appropriately, taking into consideration competitive wages across the Territory.

Will that increase in pay affect our programs being staffed with enough employees to meet the needs of individuals and families that we serve?

This is a difficult question to answer since funding and staffing needs are different from one program to the next. Additionally, the financial support we receive within communities across the Territory is varied.  However, we believe our continued commitment to serving suffering humanity, addressing human need in God’s name, proclaiming the mission, and telling our story will provide all the funding we need to serve people and compensate employees fairly. God is faithful, and He will provide. We’ve been called to this mission and firmly believe God has raised up the Army for “such a time as this.”