The administration of The Salvation Army is based on a hierarchical, military model.
The General directs Salvation Army operations throughout 108 countries of the world in collaboration with the administrative departments of International Headquarters (IHQ) in London, which are headed by International Secretaries.
The Chief of the Staff, a commissioner appointed by the General to be second-incommand, is the Army’s chief executive whose function is to implement the General’s policy decisions and effect liaison between departments. As well as the handling of day-to-day business and the allocation of resources, IHQ is concerned with strategic, long range planning and acts as a resource centre for the worldwide Army and as a facilitator of ideas and policies.
For administrative purposes, The Salvation Army is split into Territories. Usually each country forms a single Salvation Army Territory, but some where the Army is strong numerically are divided into two or more Territories. Territorial leaders are called Territorial Commanders (usually Commissioners in rank, sometimes Colonels) and they are responsible either to a National Commander or directly to International Headquarters.
Territorial Commanders are based at Territorial Headquarters (THQ), where they are assisted by a Chief Secretary and various other Secretaries (departmental heads) responsible for overseeing the various branches of Army activity.
There are currently 56 Salvation Army Territories in the world. Australia has two: the Australia Eastern Territory (NSW, ACT and Qld) has headquarters in Sydney, and the Australia Southern Territory (Vic., Tas., SA, WA, NT) has headquarters in Melbourne. The Salvation Army in Australia does not have a National Commander, but rather, each of the Territories is responsible to International Headquarters.
The Australia Eastern Territory of The Salvation Army operates under a Cabinet Administrative System. The five member Administrative Cabinet – similar to a Board – determines policy and strategy for the Territory, particularly as it relates to the future.
Each Territory throughout The Salvation Army world is divided into Divisions, which are administered by Divisional Commanders, who are responsible to the Territorial Commander. A Division is a grouping of districts, similar to a diocese in the Anglican Church. Each Division consists of a number of Corps and social centres which are mostly run by officers of varying rank.
In the Australia Eastern Territory there are seven Divisions: Sydney East and Illawarra; The Greater West; Newcastle and Central NSW; North NSW; ACT and South NSW; South Qld; and Central and North Qld.
A Corps is The Salvation Army equivalent of a church, and often acts as a community centre. Each Corps is led by a Corps Officer who is responsible to the Divisional Commander. There are around 350 Corps in Australia.
The Salvation Army in Australia is administered from two seperate head offices. New South Wales, Queensland and ACT make up the Australia Eastern Territory, which has its head office in Sydney. The Australia Southern Territory comprises of Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and Northern Territory and has its head office in Melbourne.
The two territories have roughly the same number of Salvation Army officers, soldiers and churches. There is no national leader of the Salvation Army in Australia, as both territories have a direct line to International Headquarters in London. The two territories take a bipartisan approach with regards to national awareness, which is most evident during the Red Shield Appeal as well as social awareness campaigns.
The role of National Secretariat, based in Canberra, is the Army's chief parlimentary liaison and speaks to politicians on behalf of both Australian territories.
Are you from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, or the Northern Territory? Wondering why you can't find what you're looking for on our website?
This website, salvos.org.au, is the official website of the Australia Eastern Territory (NSW, QLD, ACT).
The Salvation Army has an international mission statement that sets the identity and direction for every command and centre that the Army operates.
The international mission statement of The Salvation Army is as follows:
"The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination."
Some territories also have an internal mission statement that conveys the local focus. Here in the Australia Eastern Territory (NSW, ACT, Qld), our mission is to "save souls, grow saints and serve suffering humanity". Our values flow from this - we value Transformation, Integrity and Compassion.
The Salvation Army has 11 faith-based statements called doctrines that summarise its religious beliefs. The Salvation Army’s statements place it in harmony with other mainstream denominations of Protestant Christianity. These statements are:
We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.
We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.
We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, undivided in essence and co-equal in power and glory.
We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.
We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency, but by their disobedience, they lost their purity and happiness, and that in consequence of their fall, all men have become sinners, totally depraved, and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has by His suffering and death made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.
We believe that repentance toward God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation.
We believe that we are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.
We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, in the general judgement at the end of the world, in the eternal happiness of the righteous, and in the endless punishment of the wicked.