The purpose of this guide: This guide is designed for people considering work as spiritual care providers, and for those conducting research about chaplaincy and spiritual care. Chaplains and spiritual care providers work in healthcare, the military, prisons, higher education, community settings, some workplaces, and a range of other settings. There is no single definition of a chaplain or spiritual care provider, and no single path for entering the work. This guide is intended to suggest places to start and to guide you through questions to ask and places to engage as you consider your questions, possible paths forward in this work, and research about it.
The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab brings chaplaincy leaders, theological educators, clinical educators, and social scientists into a research-based conversation about the state of chaplaincy and spiritual care. Driving our work are questions about how, in the midst of changes in the American religious landscape, spiritual caregivers can do their best work. We aim to improve how chaplains are trained, how they work with diverse individuals (including those with no religious or spiritual backgrounds), and how chaplaincy and spiritual care coheres as a professional field.
Starting in 2018, the Lab partnered with Boston University School of Theology on a project to enhance spiritual care education in institutions across the United States. The Lab thanks the School for its innovative spirit and collaborative agreement to host this LibGuide. Learn more at ChaplaincyInnovation.org.
The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, based at Brandeis University, supports research, teaching, and the provision of spiritual care in a range of settings.