Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 825–836 | Cite as

Hospitable Hospitals in a Diverse Society: From Chaplains to Spiritual Care Providers

  • Barbara Pesut
  • Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham
  • Richard Sawatzky
  • Gloria Woodland
  • Perry Peverall
Original Paper


The chaplain’s role in health care services has changed profoundly within the contexts of managerial and fiscal constraints, and increasingly pluralistic and secularized societies. Drawing from a larger study that examined religious and spiritual plurality in health care, we present findings regarding the contributions of chaplains or spiritual care providers (SCPs) as they are referred to more recently, in Canadian institutional health care contexts. Qualitative analyses of interviews with 14 employed SCPs and 7 volunteers provided insights about legitimizing and crafting the role of SPCs, becoming part of the health care team, and brokering diversity. Implications are discussed in relation to role clarification and policy development for truly hospitable health care.


Spiritual care Chaplaincy Health care 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Pesut
    • 1
  • Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham
    • 2
  • Richard Sawatzky
    • 2
  • Gloria Woodland
    • 3
  • Perry Peverall
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Nursing FIN 344University of British Columbia OkanaganKelownaCanada
  2. 2.School of NursingTrinity Western UniversityLangleyCanada
  3. 3.Providence SeminaryAdjunct Faculty ACTSLangleyCanada
  4. 4.Spiritual Care PractitionerLangley Memorial HospitalLangleyCanada

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