Chaplaincy Research

Chaplaincy is a research-informed healthcare profession. The body of research on chaplaincy has been growing year on year, and chaplains are benefiting from insights published by both chaplain-researcher colleagues and others interested in understanding the relationship between spirituality and health.

Understandably, not all chaplains want to be researchers. However, all chaplains need to be research literate, able to read and interpret current research and apply the findings of good research to their own practice. This page aims to be a resource to help colleagues develop that kind of research literacy.

Look out for future developments to include online research literacy training on reading and assessing research papers.

The UK Chaplains’ Research Digest is a good place for College members to explore interesting new research. While being far from a comprehensive round up, it offers links to relevant research articles, as well as interviews and reviews that can help build research literacy.

Click here to jump to the most recent issue of the UK Chaplains’ Research Digest

The UK Wide Research First Digital Journal Club, which the college is pleased to support, is another way for colleagues to explore relevant new research. Below, you will find links to articles previously discussed in the Club, together with video introductions to articles that could stimulate research-related discussions among local teams.

Click here to jump to the Research First Journal Club

This page also has links to Resources for developing research literacy.

Click here to jump to research literacy Resources

Research Digests:

Aimed at helping colleagues build their research literacy, the quarterly digest highlights research papers from the four main journals relevant to chaplaincy and spiritual care research: Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, Journal of Pastoral Care and Counselling and Journal of Health and Religion. Additionally, the Digest also includes short introductory articles, book reviews and interviews with chaplain-researchers.

Video Interview

The Digest aims to interview experienced researchers, to learn about their work and from their insights. Click the links to access the videos interviews.

Research First Journal Club

The college is delighted to support a monthly UK wide digital journal club, organised as a joint venture by the CHCC and Free Churches Group (FCG) and supported and promoted by the Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains, NHS Education for Scotland, the Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association and the Paediatric Chaplaincy Network. The journal club provides opportunity to earn up to 3 CPD points accredited by the UK Board of Healthcare Chaplaincy (for full details, see the latest issue of the Digest or The Narrative).

Called Research First, the journal club meets on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of a month on a rolling quarterly pattern. Dates from September are:

  • September: Tuesday 6th, 10:00 to 11:15. Click here to join the meeting (recurring 3 monthly meeting)
  • October: Wednesday 5th, 12:45 to 14:00. Click here to join the meeting (recurring 3 monthly meeting)
  • November: Thursday 3rd, 15:15 to 16:30. Click here to join the meeting (recurring 3 monthly meeting)
  • December: Tuesday 6th, 10:00 to 11:15.
  • January: Wednesday 4th, 12:45 to 14:00.
  • February: Thursday 2nd, 15:15 to 16:30.
  • March: Tuesday 7th, 10:00 to 11:15.
  • April: Wednesday 5th, 12:45 to 14:00.
  • May: Thursday 4th, 15:15 to 16:30.

If you have questions about the journal club, or would like to receive diary invites for the sessions, contact

Video introductions

18 January 3:15-4:30pm

Skinner M et al: How do healthcare chaplaincy spiritual care interventions support adults’ mental health by integrating health and social care? A review of primary research studies published in English 2010-2019. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 10(1), 27–49.
Click here for the Video

20 April 3:15-4:30pm

Schuhmann CM et al (2021) Humanist chaplaincy according to Northwestern European Humanist Chaplains: Towards a framework for understanding chaplaincy in secular societies. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 27(4), 207-221.
Click here for the Video

21 July 3:15-4:30pm

Sprik, P, et al, (2021) Feasibility and acceptability of a telephone-based chaplaincy intervention in a large, outpatient oncology center. Supportive Care Cancer 29(3), 1275-1285.
Click here for the Video

NB – CHCC members have free online access to Health and Social Care Chaplaincy.  Instructions on how to register for access are in the Members Area (requires log in to view).