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Glossary of terms


A person who regards The Salvation Army as his/her spiritual home but has not made a commitment to soldiership. (More about becoming an adherent member.)

Advisory Board

A group of influential citizens who, believing in the Army’s programme of spiritual, moral and physical rehabilitation and amelioration, assist in promoting and supporting Army projects.

Articles of War (Soldier’s Covenant)

The statement of beliefs and promises which every intending soldier is required to sign before enrolment.


A mature Salvationist beyond the age limit for full officer-training, who holds a warrant of appointment as distinct from commissioned rank, and who may undertake corps or social work similar to that of a commissioned officer.

Balance Sheet or Statement of Accounts

Published annually with respect to the Army’s central funds. A similar statement is issued annually for the social fund, and for each territorial fund. In every corps a statement of accounts is prepared annually.

‘Blood and Fire’

The Army’s motto; refers to the blood of Jesus Christ and the fire of the Holy Spirit.


A Salvationist in training for officership.


A soldier who has been accepted for officer training.

Census Board

Established in a corps; responsible for the addition of names to, and removal of names from, the rolls.

Chief of the Staff

The officer second in command of the Army throughout the world.


A hall used for worship.


The tricolour flag of the Army. Its colours symbolise the blood of Jesus Christ (red), the fire of the Holy Spirit (yellow) and the purity of God (blue).


A smaller type of territory, directed by an officer commanding.


A document conferring authority upon an officer, or upon an unpaid local officer, eg secretary, treasurer, bandmaster, etc.


Central gatherings often held annually and attended by most officers and many soldiers of a territory, region or division.


A Salvation Army unit established for the preaching of the gospel and service in the community.

Corps Cadet

A young Salvationist who undertakes a course of study and practical training in his or her corps, with a view to becoming efficient in Salvation Army service.

Corps Sergeant-Major

The chief local officer for public work who assists the corps officer with meetings and usually takes command in their absence.

Dedication Service

The public presentation of infants to the Lord. This differs from christening or infant baptism in that the main emphasis is upon specific vows made by the parents concerning the child’s upbringing.


A number of corps grouped together, under the direction of a divisional commander.


A local officer whose duty is to visit corps, societies and outposts, for the purpose of conducting meetings. An envoy may be appointed in charge of any such unit.


The officer elected to the supreme command of the Army throughout the world. All appointments are made, and all regulations issued, under the General’s authority (see under High Council).

Half-way House

A centre for the rehabilitation of alcoholics or parolees (USA). Harbour-Light Centre. A reclamation centre, usually located in inner city areas.

High Council

Composed of the Chief of the Staff, all active commissioners, except the spouse of the General, and all territorial commanders. The High Council elects the General in accordance with the Salvation Army Act 1980.

Home League

A fellowship designed to influence women in the creation and development of Christian standards in personal home life.

International Headquarters (IHQ)

The offices in which the business connected with the command of the worldwide Army is transacted.

International Secretary

An officer appointed by the General to supervise and represent, at International Headquarters, Army work mainly overseas.

Junior Soldier

A boy or girl who, having professed conversion and having signed the junior soldier’s promise, becomes a Salvationist.

League of Mercy

Salvationists who visit prisons, hospitals and needy homes, in their own time, bringing the gospel and rendering practical aid.

Life-Saving Guard Organisation

A branch of work similar to the Girl Guides Association.

Local Officer

A soldier appointed to a position of responsibility and authority in the corps; carries out the duties of the appointment without being separated from regular employment or receiving remuneration from the Army.

Medical Fellowship

An international fellowship of dedicated medical personnel.

Mercy Seat or Penitent Form

A bench provided as a place where people can kneel to pray, seeking salvation or sanctification, or making a special consecration to God’s will and service. The mercy seat is usually situated between the platform and main area of Army halls as a focal point to remind all of God’s reconciling and redeeming presence.


A Salvationist who has left secular concerns at God’s call and has been trained, commissioned and ordained to service and leadership. An officer is a recognised minister of religion. Order of Distinguished Auxiliary

Order of Distinguished Auxiliary Service

An order created to mark the Army’s appreciation of distinguished service rendered by non-Salvationists who have helped further its work in a variety of ways.

Order of the Founder

The highest honour given for distinguished service within The Salvation Army.


A locality in which Army work is carried on and where it is hoped a society or corps will develop.

Promotion to Glory

The Army’s description of the death of Salvationists.

Ranks of officer

Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieut-Colonel, Colonel, Commissioner, General.

Red Shield

A symbol identifying a wide range of Army social and emergency services.

Red Shield Appeal

An annual financial appeal to the general public.

Red Shield Centre

A club for military personnel.


The work of grace which God accomplishes in a repentant person whose trust is in Christ as Saviour, forgiving sin, giving meaning and new direction to life, and strength to live as God desires. The deeper experience of this grace, known as holiness or sanctification, is the outcome of wholehearted commitment to God and enables the living of a Christlike life.

Self-Denial Appeal

An annual effort to raise funds for the Army’s worldwide operations; also known as the annual appeal in some countries.


A local officer appointed for specific duty, usually in a corps.


A converted person at least 14 years of age who has, with the approval of the census board, been enrolled as a member of The Salvation Army after signing the articles of war (soldier’s covenant).


Public enrolment of Salvation Army soldiers.


A country, part of a country or several countries combined, in which Salvation Army work is organised under a territorial commander.

Young People’s Sergeant-Major

A local officer responsible for the young people’s work, under the commanding officer.