Links to recent articles/books/papers that relate to chaplaincy and/or spiritual care

Listed below are the details of recent articles/books/papers that relate to chaplaincy and/or spiritual care.

Where possible clicking on the title of the article will link to the journal that the article has been published in for those interested in accessing full copies..

If you know of a recent publication that might be of interest to other chaplains please use the form on the contact us page to submit details.

Chaplains interested in should also be aware of the Orere Source - a collection of pastoral abstacts created by the Rev. W. Noel Brown, a retired Presbyterian minister, and hospital chaplain-supervisor. He was formerly chairman of the Standards Committee of A.C.P.E. and is a board-certified chaplain of the Association of Professional Chaplains. The database currently contains over 17,500 abstracts from the pastoral care literature and health-care literature which has implications for the continuing education of chaplains.

Recent additions to the database are regularly featured in the Scotish Journal fo Healthcare Chapalincy.

Further information may be obtained from:


Particularly Chaplaincy Focused Articles

Outcomes for Professional Health Care Chaplaincy: An International Call to Action

This is a guest editorial in the american Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy (for more informaion on the journal see below. Unlike the articles below it is open access and can be downloaded here: Outcomes Editorial

Case Studies of Chaplains from the USA

The american Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy has recently started publishing a series of indepth case studies of chaplains work. The article introducing this idea is free to access: Making our Case(s) as is the editorial. The latest case study is called Facing Fears and Counting Blessings and offers a case study of a long-term chapalincy care relationship with a woman with recurrent leukemia. (Note, access requires purchasing the article or a subscription to the journal)

While recognising that differences in faith traditions and the way chaplaincy has developed means that findings are not directly transferable to the UK context, chaplains may be interested in other articles published in the journal.

Pastoral care in hospitals: A literature review

Citation: Tumori, September 2011, vol./is. 97/5(666-671)
Author(s): Proserpio T.; Piccinelli C.; Clerici C.A.
Abstract: This literature review investigates the potential contribution of the pastoral care provided in hospitals by hospital chaplains, as part of an integrated view of patient care, particularly in institutions dealing with severe disease. Ninety-eight articles were considered concerning the modern hospital chaplains' relationships and the principal procedures and practices associated with their roles, i.e., their relations with the scientific world, with other religious figures in the community, with other faiths and religious confessions, with other public health
professionals and operators, with colleagues in professional associations and training activities, and with the hospital organization as a whole, as well as their patient assessment activities and the spiritual-religious support they provide, also for the patients' families.
Conclusions. Improvements are needed on several fronts to professionalize the pastoral care provided in hospitals and modernize the figure of the hospital chaplain. These improvements include better relations between modern chaplains and the hospital organization and scientific world; more focus on a scientific approach to their activities and on evaluating the efficacy of pastoral care activities; greater clarity in the definition of the goals, methods and procedures; the design of protocols and a stance on important ethical issues; respect for the various faiths, different cultures and both religious and nonreligious or secularized customs; greater involvement in the multidisciplinary patient care teams, of which the hospital chaplains are an integral part; stronger integration with public health operators and cooperation with the psychosocial professions; specific
training on pastoral care and professional certification of chaplains; and the development of shared ethical codes for the profession.
Citation: Qualitative Research October 2011 vol. 11 no. 5 469-486
Author(s): Sophie Gilliat-Ray
Abstract: More and article about qualitative research than chaplaincy the article critically evaluates ‘shadowing’ as a qualitative research method. Following a brief discussion of shadowing as a research tool and an introduction to the ‘Muslim Chaplaincy Project’, the remainder of the article describes the experience of shadowing an individual Muslim hospital chaplain in detail.
Citation: International Journal of Palliative Nursing, April 2011, vol./is. 17/4(161-2), 1357-6321 (2011 Apr)
Author(s): Turner, Susan
Citation: Palliative Medicine, January 2011, vol./is. 25/1(21-25)
Author(s): Nolan, Steve
Abstract: Using Grounded Theory, this study examines the experience of 19 palliative care chaplains in counselling dying people. Taking a broad-based definition of counselling, and using unstructured individual interviews and group work, the study aimed to understand how palliative care chaplains work with patients at the point when it has been decided to cease active treatment, the point where they risk losing hope and falling into despair. Analysing the data using code-based theory building software, the author identified four organic moments in the chaplain--patient relationship, each moment being a discernable development in the chaplain's being-with the patient: 'evocative presence'; 'accompanying presence'; 'comforting presence'; and 'hopeful presence'. The author represents the four moments as a theory of 'chaplain as hopeful presence', and offers a description of the way in which the quality of presence can facilitate patients to develop 'a hopeful manner' in which hope is reconfigured into an attribute of being. The author concludes (with Levinas) that chaplains and other palliative care staff should be aware that simply being-with an other can, in itself, be hope fostering.


More Generally Focused Spiritual Care Articles

The Dutch journal Psyche en Geloof , (Psyche & Faith) March 2011 is a special issue on Psychiatry and Religion. The cover can be viewed here and article titles with translations of the abstracts here. One article mentions collaboration with chaplains:
'Ezekiel on the couch: From mystical experience to religious delusion.'
Citation: Psyche en Geloof, March 2011, vol./is. 22/1(2-7), 1385-4585
Author(s): Blom, Jan Dirk
Abstract: Voices, visions, and other aberrant perceptual experiences have since time immemorial been attributed to God, the devil, spirits, and ghosts. Within the biomedical paradigm,such instances are designated as hallucinations and delusions. But where does pathologyend, and where does the authentic metaphysical experience begin? Or does the latternotion fall outside psychiatry's framework, and is therefore anything in this area bydefinition a hallucination or delusion? In view of the mystical experiences of Socrates,Descartes, Hildegard of Bingen, Joan of Arc, Emanuel Swedenborg, Helen Schucman,and Ezekiel, the widely diverging interpretations of such experiences will be describedfrom the point of view of a religious and a scientific perspective. This argument willculminate in a recommendation regarding cases of hallucinations and delusions with areligious content, to (i) establish the degree of suffering and/or dysfunctioning, (2) ifindicated, to seek a biomedical solution, and (3) pursue the collaboration with a chaplainto cover the religious dimension.
Citation: J Clinical Nursing, June 2011, vol./is. 20/11-12 (1757-67)
Author(s): McSherry, W; Jamieson, S
Abstract: Preliminary findings of survey research examining Royal College of Nursing members'views on and understanding of spirituality and spiritual care. Responses to the onlineSpirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale, covering meanings of spirituality, the impacton patients' wellbeing, and the spiritual care role of nurses and chaplaincy services, arepresented. Nurses' education and support needs are considered.
Citation: Br J Nursing, June 2011, vol./is. 20/12(743-9)
Author(s): Pike, J
Abstract: Systematic review on the concept of spirituality and its application in nursing care.Clarification of definitions of spirituality, criteria used in differentiating between religionand spirituality, need for nurse education and patients' attitudes towards receiving spiritualcare from nurses are considered.


Archive of Previously Featured Articles