The ACPE Research Network

The ACPE Research Network seeks to foster connections among members of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education interested in research, encourage original research, and raise awareness about published research (e.g., in the health care literature and the education literature) related to spirituality, pastoral care, and Clinical Pastoral Education.

  GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS (updated November 23, 2015):

  • Some Network members have asked for personal email notifications of new postings to our website: e.g., Articles-of-the-Month or Newsletters. If you would like to receive such announcements from John Ehman (Convener), then please send your request to
  • The Fall 2015 Newsletter includes, among other things, a report by ACPE President David C. Johnson about how research figured into the International Congress on Pastoral Care & Counseling, an update on the Transforming Chaplaincy Project, notice of free online modules on research and statistics from the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing, and examples of CPE Residents' projects from the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System that employed the Lean approach to quality improvement. Note also that the Summer 2015 issue included descriptions of pastoral care research activities at the Maine Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Patient Counseling, and the Carolinas Healthcare System; plus links to Judith Ragsdale's presentation slides from the Atlanta ACPE conference and Trace Haythorn's message to the ACPE that appeared in our Network's conference flyer, and notes of a new Pew survey and how new chaplaincy guidelines in England support research.
  • The November Article-of-the-Month reports a quality improvement project at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center to increase the number of outpatients receiving spiritual assessment through a Pain and Palliative Care Service. It includes a strategy of chaplains' covisits with clinicians. Also, a reminder of some recent Articles-of-the-Month: The October AoM examines the importance of Faith in FACIT-Sp assessments of Quality-of-Life in cancer survivors, by Andrea L. Canada, Patricia E. Murphy, George Fitchett, and Kevin Stein. Their study highlights the indirect, mediated effects of Faith. The July AoM presents a qualitative study of patient and family perceptions of chaplain presence during post-trauma care, and includes a proposal for holistic spiritual care assessment that integrates the study's findings with psychological theory. And, note that in June we featured a pair of reports from ongoing research at the Mayo Clinic on chaplain-led spiritual life review for patients with brain cancers and progressive neurologic conditions. The principal author is Katherine M. Piderman, Coordinator for Research in the Department of Chaplain Services, and the study involves a number of department members.
  •   Transforming Chaplaincy: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes is a project supported by grants totaling $4,500,000 and aims to equip healthcare chaplains to use research to guide, evaluate, and advocate for the daily spiritual care provided to patients, family members, and colleagues. Visit for information about CPE Curriculum Development Grants, Research Chaplain Fellowships, and online continuing education and other resources; and note especially the Calendar section. (Note: The site may not work well with some older browsers.)
  • The Rush Research Article Summary Outline, a resource used by George Fitchett and Patricia Murphy in teaching research literacy, is now available as a PDF and Word document. It has also been added to our page of resources for Incorporating Research into CPE.
  • An Invitation to Chaplaincy Research: Entering the Process, ed. by Myers, G. E with Roberts, S. (2014), is an excellent resource for chaplains new to research. It is available freely through the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, which produced the resource with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
  • The "Knowledge Base of Spiritual Care Samples," which was developed through the Spiritual Care Initiative for Professional Excellence [formerly the Ideal Intervention Paper (IIP) Project] and posted on our site until 2012, is now available in print as a four volume set from Judson Press: The Pastoral Caregiver's Casebook series, edited by John J. Gleason. See our SCIPE page for more information.
  • For annual annotated bibliographies of Medline-indexed articles on spirituality & health, see the collection from the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's Pastoral Care Department.
  • Workshop Materials:


    Materials from the workshop, "Teaching Research Literacy in CPE: Current Models and Practical Options" (presented at the 2013 national ACPE conference):

    Also, see the sample of program syllabi for Model Practices for Teaching Research in Clinical Pastoral Education, and other resources from our section on Incorporating Research into CPE (including a presentation about the Spiritual Pathways Project, by Paul Derrickson and Angie van Hise, mentioned during the workshop).



If you are a first-time visitor, please also note:

This web site became operational on September 1, 2002. It will continue to evolve in response to suggestions from Network members. To submit suggestions, please directly e-mail the Network's convener at All member correspondence is confirmed by return e-mail.

For the web site of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, click here.


  Contact:  Chaplain John Ehman (Network Convener) at
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