You are here

Innovations in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Unit

Call for Proposals

For the 2022 Annual Meeting, Innovations in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care will host two sessions: an open call co-hosted with Psychology, Culture, and Religion and an invited panel. 


Given the growing consensus among spiritual and therapeutic caregivers that moral advocacy is central to their professional identity, how might spiritual caregivers understand the future of their work in institutional contexts like hospitals, prisons, the military, or others that demand neutrality on political matters such as racial and social justice? And how might pastoral psychotherapists and clinicians negotiate the increasing emphasis on integrating spirituality as a morally-neutral “tool” in psychotherapeutic contexts? We welcome proposals that answer these questions directly or in any way address the moral complexity of operating as professionals at the intersection of spiritual and clinical care in institutional settings. 


  • Chaplaincy is an inherently diverse field

In the wide range of sites and institutions in which chaplaincy is practiced, in the identities of practitioners and those seeking care, and in the clinical and theological models used for care. For its second session, Innovations in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care will host an invited panel of scholars and practicing chaplains that intentionally highlights the diversity in the field, sparking imagination for innovations in research, practice, and education for practitioners in this field. 

Statement of Purpose

Chaplaincy is becoming more and more central to the religious/spiritual experiences of individuals and communities in the world. Shifts in religious leadership, religious/spiritual affiliation, and theological education are all occurring at a rapid pace; this unit helps shape AAR as the primary academic home of these discussions. This unit is not only academic in nature; its work is consonant with the AAR’s commitment to the public application of scholarship taking place within the Academy. This unit gathers researchers, educators, and broad-minded practitioners to extend and make permanent the conversation begun through an exploratory session held at the AAR in November 2018. Innovations in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care breaks down the barriers between these siloed communities and draws them into a common conversation on how best to meet individuals’ and communities’ spiritual needs today. Doing so requires: • translating the research needed to support the work of accompanying individuals through growth, change, and struggle; • investigating how chaplaincy provision is shaped by the people it is offered to and the institutions within which it is provided; • asking how chaplains can be more effectively present in settings currently lacking spiritual care providers for those in need and how those chaplains can respond most effectively to the increasingly diverse religious landscape. The mission of Innovations in Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care is 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.


Steering Committee Members


E-mail with Attachment (proposal is in attachment, not in body of e-mail)



Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members