International Leadership & Structure
The General is The Salvation Army's world leader and highest-ranked officer.
The office is currently held by General André Cox, who has been serving in the role since August 3, 2013.
André Cox is The Salvation Army's 20th General.
General André Cox was born in 1954 whilst his Salvation Army officer parents were serving in Zimbabwe. The fact that the General was born in Africa to an English father and Swiss mother makes him feel very much at home when working in different cultural settings.
Following his marriage to Silvia Volet, they entered the International Training College in London, England, and were commissioned as Salvation Army officers in 1979, returning to serve in corps appointments in Switzerland. From there, with three small daughters, Myriam, Esther and Sarah, they were appointed to the Zimbabwe Territory. Whilst in Harare, Captain André Cox held various headquarters appointments including that of Public Relations Secretary and Finance Secretary.
Returning to Switzerland the Coxes were appointed to the Switzerland, Austria and Hungary Territorial Headquarters and during their eight years of service in Bern, Major André Cox was appointed as the Secretary for Communications and then as the Secretary for Business Administration. This was a key time in his personal development due to the heightened exposure to many aspects of Salvation Army management and administration. Over the years there has grown an increasing belief that the handling of the business matters relating to The Salvation Army needs to be conducted to the highest ethical and management standards as a true reflection of sound biblical stewardship.
Subsequent territorial leadership in Finland and Estonia, Southern Africa and the United Kingdom with the Republic of Ireland have deepened General André’s belief that:
‘Although it is not by our works that we are saved, what we have received and believe must translate into our everyday lives. We cannot escape the reality and the inseparable link between belief and behaviour. The two must go hand in hand if our Christian witness is to be authentic and meaningful. If it is true that we belong to God, that we are building for his Kingdom for eternity by sharing the truth of the gospel then it must also be reflected in our daily living.’
From his appointment as Chief of the Staff, he was elected the 20th General of The Salvation Army on 3 August 2013. General Cox shares his ministry with his wife, Commissioner Silvia Cox, who is the World President of Women’s Ministries.
In July 2016 during a visit to Argentina, The General was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Business & Social Sciences in Buenos Aires. The citation read ‘The Superior Academic Board of the university confers upon General Andre Cox by merit of his work in the area of finance and management in The Salvation Army, as well as for his permanent contribution to the cause of international humanitarian aid, the Diploma of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Along with his wife, the General has a strong sense of family. They are very proud of their daughters with their respective husbands and also their six grandchildren.
The General directs Salvation Army operations throughout over 120 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-in-command, 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 two Divisions
- Queensland Division
- New South Wales & ACT Division
Corps / Centre level
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 International Headquarters
101 Queen Victoria St London EC4P 4EP England