1st Edition

A Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies Understanding Spiritual Care in Public Places

Edited By Christopher Swift, Mark Cobb, Andrew Todd Copyright 2016
    368 Pages
    by Routledge

    364 Pages
    by Routledge

    A Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies explores fundamental issues and critical questions in chaplaincy, spanning key areas of health care, the prison service, education and military chaplaincy. Leading authors and practitioners in the field present critical insight into the challenges and opportunities facing those providing professional spiritual care. From young men and women in the military and in custody, to the bedside of those experiencing life’s greatest traumas, this critical examination of the role played by the chaplain offers a fresh and informed understanding about faith and diversity in an increasingly secular society. An invaluable compendium of case-studies, academic reflection and critical enquiry, this handbook offers a fresh understanding of traditional, contemporary and innovative forms of spiritual practice as they are witnessed in the public sphere. Providing a wide-ranging appraisal of chaplaincy in an era of religious complexity and emergent spiritualities, this pioneering book is a major contribution to a relatively underdeveloped field and sets out how the phenomenon of chaplaincy can be better understood and its practice more robust and informed.


    Chris Swift has been involved in chaplaincy practice, research and publication for over 20 years. In addition to experience of prison chaplaincy and delivering education to armed forces chaplains, he was President of the College of Health Care Chaplains (2004-7) and currently chairs the reference group for the Department of Health’s chaplaincy professional advisers. From a PhD examining the place of health care chaplaincy in the NHS he wrote ’Hospital Chaplaincy in the Twenty-first Century’ (Ashgate) and has contributed several book chapters and published articles on aspects of health care chaplaincy. Chris is the professional lead for the MA in Health & Social Care Chaplaincy offered at Leeds Metropolitan University.

    Mark Cobb is a Senior Chaplain and a Clinical Director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and holds honorary academic posts at the University of Liverpool and the University of Sheffield. His interest in the theory and practice of healthcare chaplains has resulted in publications including The Hospital Chaplain’s Handbook (Canterbury) and he teaches on a range of programmes for healthcare professionals including the MA in Health & Social Care Chaplaincy at Leeds Metropolitan University. Mark’s academic work spans palliative care, ethics and practical theology and he has published authored and co-authored works on subjects including healthcare ethics, chaplaincy, end of life care and spirituality. He is the lead editor and contributing author of The Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare (Oxford University Press).

    Andrew Todd is Director of the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, a partnership between Cardiff University and St Michael’s College, involved in developing research into chaplaincy, as well as delivering educational and professional development programmes to chaplains (including the Cardiff MTh in Chaplaincy Studies). In 2011, with Dr Lee Tipton, Andrew delivered the research report, 'The Role and Contribution of a Multi-Faith Prison Chaplaincy to the Contemporary Prison Service'.

    ‘This volume brings a wealth of valuable insights. I wholeheartedly commend it to anyone who works as a chaplain or who is seeking to better understand the role.’

    Mark Burleigh, President, College of Healthcare Chaplains, UK

    ‘Gathers together high level theological understanding with deeply reflective pastoral experience and so offers the reader a fresh and nourishing account of both the fundamentals and particularities of chaplaincy. Especially welcome is the inclusion of detailed and intelligently reflective case studies. At a time when so many mainstream churches are being drained of energy by issues of maintenance and keeping up numbers, these essays provide all interested in the church’s life a vision of other ways of being church: ways of mission and embeddedness and care. The great insight, beyond the essential accounts the work gives to those involved directly in chaplaincy, is that it is precisely in these ’secular’ and ’marginal’ places that today’s church can rediscover itself. A must read for those involved in practical theology and pastoral ministry.’

    Clare Watkins, University of Roehampton, UK

    ‘A feast for those who are interested in chaplaincy - contributors bring their unique approaches to a range of areas on the subject. This book provides description and interpretation of current practices of chaplaincy and highlights the challenges facing the area. It makes a valuable contribution to the expanding literature on chaplaincy.’

    Ataullah Siddiqui, Markfield Institute of Higher Education, UK

    ‘Chaplaincy is uniquely positioned to serve the ever-present spiritual needs of a society that is increasingly unfamiliar with formal religion. This handbook is therefore timely, revealing the cutting-edge value of a ministry that adjusts to people in the real world, reminding both individuals of their God-given value and institutions of the need to exercise power with humanity. Through its close examination of chaplaincy in a range of settings, not fudging the tensions of being inclusive yet challenging, pastoral yet prophetic, this book promotes a model of ministry that has considerable relevance and impact.’

    Jonathan Chaffey, Chaplain-in-Chief, Royal Air Force

    ‘Essential reading for those in this form of ministry or interested in it.’

    Church of England Newspaper

    ‘…this book represents an incredibly valuable contribution to chaplaincy studies. It should provide a starting-point for anyone interested in exploring the field academically and help to distil for chaplains some of the issues facing their profession.’

    Ben Ryan, Theos Think Tank London, Modern Believing Vol 57:3, July 2016

    ‘It is a rare book that can both stimulate a person intellectually and on occasion move a reader to tears in offering astonishing honesty and privileged insight, but here is an example of such a rare book… I found myself asking whether this collection engages me in fresh debate, refreshes and confirms my commitment to chaplaincy, and challenges me to develop further my role and the possibilities of chaplaincy within the context in which I work. The answer is an unqualified ‘yes’.’

    Kate Pearson, Chaplaincy, University of Warwick, UK, Journal of Contemporary Religion, 31:3, August 2016

    ‘…this book not only provides insights and challenges to an ever widening range of chaplaincies, but contributes to the current debate about the place of religion, faith, and spirituality in our culture.’

    The Rt Revd Stephen Venner, former Bishop of Dover and Bishop to HM Forces, in Church Times