Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 1416–1437 | Cite as

Good Practice Chaplaincy: An Exploratory Study Identifying the Appropriate Skills, Attitudes and Practices for the Selection, Training and Utilisation of Chaplains

  • Lindsay B. CareyEmail author
  • Bruce Rumbold
Original Paper


This article presents an overview of exploratory research regarding the skills, knowledge, attitudes and practices considered necessary for chaplains to be highly competent in providing holistic care to clients and staff. Utilising a qualitative methodology, two focus groups comprising Salvation Army chaplains and their managers provided data about their expectations of chaplaincy personnel and about the pastoral care interventions undertaken by chaplains. The results indicated that while there were some differences in opinion, nevertheless, in overall terms, there was general agreement between chaplains and their managers about particular personal and professional qualities necessary for chaplains to be considered appropriate and proficient. Evidence was also obtained indicating a need for change with regard to the organisational attitude and culture of The Salvation Army towards chaplaincy. Recommendations are presented concerning (1) the selection criteria for chaplaincy, (2) training and utilisation of chaplains plus (3) issues relating to organizational cultural change necessary to develop a future-ready chaplaincy more suitable for the twenty-first century.


Chaplain Pastoral care Spiritual care The Salvation Army 



It is important to acknowledge The Salvation Army Chaplains and their Managers who participated in this research. Their willingness to share their time, their experience and their knowledge is gratefully appreciated. Particular appreciation is acknowledged to Captain Jason Davies-Kildea (Manager, Victoria Social Programme and Policy Unit, Salvation Army Melbourne Central Division) for allowing access to chaplaincy and managerial personnel.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Palliative Care Unit, School of Public Health and Human BiosciencesLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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