About the film

Our approach

We made this film not as polemicists, but as journalists.  Military chaplains are a fascinating human interest story and a timely one.  The military chaplaincy not only raises important Constitutional questions, but the debates these trigger are today increasingly divisive.  We work hard to make sure everyone states his or her position compellingly,  but we keep the focus on the experience of troops and chaplains.  We believe that in order to take sides in the debate, we need to understand what the stakes are for our men and women in uniform and, by extension, our country.

The film premiered at the Walter Reade Theater Film Society of Lincoln Center  New York, NY April 6, 2010, and was screened at  Newseum Annenberg Theater in Washington, DC April 30   watch videos of the Q&A and, on July 28, at the National Press Club Washington, DC, as part of its Documentary Series.

Check out our blog for more information

Press reviews

In a Feb. 20, 2013, article , veteran religion news reporter Mark Pinsky points out the role of Chaplains Under Fire as a valuable training tool for military chaplains.  (link to article

A Christian Broadcast Network report on the repeal of DADT looks to ‘Chaplains Under Fire’ for a frank look at the realities on the ground.  Aired July 20, 2011 (link to report).

Links to reviews and articles in ChristianityToday,  The Hunstville Times,

Huffington Post, Washington Window, Washington Post, Vietnam Veterans of America's Arts of War on the Web, The Transylvania Times,  Plain Views, Patheos, New York Press and Bill's Faith Matters.

NPR's Interfaith Voices devoted a show to an interview with Chaplain Ben Sanford and co-director Lee Lawrence (listen here).

Viewers write in...

December 9, 2014

  • The video is great. It is helping me to gain a lot of insight for our ministry to the troops. Thanks, Terry Wilson, Founder/Director of First Strike Ministries (FSM), a Christ centered inter-denominational Ministry

September 12, 2011

. . . on second and third viewing, it continued to captivate me; in many ways, even more so upon subsequent viewings.  There isn't an extraneous or unimportant moment in the film.  I think that it is so important in this day and age, when most of us can go about our lives only peripherally aware of what current United States wartime experience means for those conducting it, to have this film seen by as many people as possible.  The film is touching, tough-minded, sobering, humane, and loving all at once.   Jonathan Eder, Programs Producer, The Mary Baker Eddy Library

(link to more viewers' feedback - coming soon)


Grace Episcopal Church
Washington, DC 

Oct 16 + 22, Nov 6, 2016
The Knowledge Series
Big Canoe, GA   -  Nov  13, 2016
Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning

Santa Fe - Nov 10, 2015
Sarratt Cinema of Vanderbilt University - Nov 10, 2014
Humanity Explored film-festival at Culture Unplugged - 2013 on-line
First United Methodist Church
Hendersonville, NC - Nov 12, 2012
Haymount United Methodist Church
Fayetteville, NC - hosted by the Mediation Center,  Feb. 9, 2012
Mary Baker Eddy Library
Boston, MA - Sept. 10, 2011
part of Finding Peace program
Peachtree Presbyterian Church
Atlanta, GA - April 14, 2011
Association of Professional Chaplains
2011 Conference
Dallas, TX - March 25, 2011
National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces (NCMAF)
Alexandria, VA - Jan 12, 2011
Library of Congress
Mary Pickford Theater
Washington, DC - Dec 9, 2010
Legal Fellowship of the Redeemer Center for Faith & Work
New York, NY - Dec 2, 2010
Cape Ann Forum
Cape Ann Community Cinema
Gloucester, MA - Nov 21, 2010
(link to event)

Nov 18 Episcopal Peace Fellowship Yale Divinity School (see here for details)  Nov 16 Harvard and Princeton Clubs of Washington, DC (see here for details)  Nov 12 Center for Dialogue Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church Brevard, NC  Nov 1 American Academy of Religion Atlanta, GA see blog  October 25 Emory University Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding Faculty and Graduate Student Seminar Atlanta, Ga  October 17 Columbia University Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion opening night of film series on religion and politics Roone Arledge Cinema, 2920 Broadway, NY (for details, click here)   Hampton Baptist Church Hampton, VA July 20   Convocation of Anglicans in North America Herndon, VA June 10 Legal Fellowship of the Redeemer Center for Faith & Work  International Arts Movement, NY see blog  May 5th Military Chaplains Association  annual meeting in Columbia, SC read our blog about the screenings    watch videos of the Q&A 

About Us

Terry Nickelson


  I was a Navy kid and, like military families everywhere, I have known separation and uprooting. As the spouse of a Foreign Service officer, I have lived the challenges of pursuing my own interests while supporting another's  career and frequent moves. Military families and military chaplains deal with similar issues daily.  I have worked on a variety of film and writing projects, writing-directing Refugees of the African Great Lakes: Survivors of the Rwanda Genocide for the UN to making a music video shot in the Congo during its regional war contributing to PBS's  Preventive Diplomacy. The most satisfying work for me has been human interest subjects which resonate with universal themes and explore the spectrum of human reactions and emotions. The chaplains’ story is such a subject.

Lee Lawrence


  Was it because I grew up Protestant attending Catholic school in Spain? Was it because I majored in religion at university? Whatever the reasons, I have long had an abiding interest in the role religion plays in our lives and societies. While living in Madras, India, I wrote for the Union of Catholic Asian News and wrote features for the Christian Century and, since my return to the US in 1992, I have written about Islam and Buddhism,  primarily through their art and culture. The military chaplaincy as a subject is about the power of religion, the challenges and opportunities of religious pluralism, and the creative tension at work in an institution that straddles Church and State with all the First Amendment issues this entails.  

Andrea Hull


We will forever be grateful to sculptor Brece Honeycutt, who introduced us to fellow artist and film editor, Andrea Hull.  Based in Washington, DC, Andrea brings to the project more than 25 years of experience in film and video and a sensitivity and respect for service men and women that grew out of a recent video project she worked on with wounded troops at Walter Reed Hospital.    

She has worked in long and short formats and, as her 55-minute feature “One on Every Corner: Manhattan’s Greek-Owned Coffee Shops” proves, she knows how to tell a story.  She is both delightful and ruthless -- witness the image she chose to post here by way of explaining exactly how she tackles the editing process.