A native of Lexington Park, Maryland, Lieutenant Christilene Whalen was ordained in 1992, graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills, CA in 1993 and received her Master of Divinity from Harvard University Divinity School, Cambridge, MA in 1999. After receiving a direct commission as Lieutenant in July 2008, Lieutenant Whalen reported to Newport, Rhode Island for Officer Development and Chaplain School, where she was designated a Professional Navy Chaplain.
Following Chaplain School, Lieutenant Whalen reported to Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Maryland as the Protestant Chaplain for St. Nicholas Chapel from 2008-2010 and then as the Command Chaplain from 2010-2011.
Next, Lieutenant Whalen reported as Carrier Air Wing Eight Chaplain in December 2011 and in June 2012 she graduated from Command Staff College, Distant Education and Training, Quantico, VA earning a certificate for Joint Program Military Education – Phase One requirements.
Before her commissioning as a Naval Officer, LT Whalen serves as the senior pastor for four African Methodist Churches in California from 1994-2008 and worked for the Department of Defense at Point Mugu, the Pentagon, Los Angeles and Long Beach from 1989-1995.