The ACPE Research Network

The ACPE Research Network seeks to foster connections among ACPE Educators and Spiritual Care Professionals 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 June 11, 2017):

  • The first Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute (CRSI) will be held July 24-28, 2017 at the Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, as part of the ongoing Transforming Chaplaincy project. The purpose of CRSI is to equip chaplains with skills in a short-term intensive format with follow up to undertake simple but important research and quality improvement projects. Participation will be limited to 20 persons. Participants must be working or otherwise engaged as a chaplain, or providing consultation to chaplains, in a health-related context (hospital, clinic, hospice, long-term care). Registration is $600 per person. Detailed information, including faculty and schedule, is available through the Transforming Chaplain website.
  • Announcing the European Research Institute for Chaplains in Healthcare: (redirects to, to begin June 6, 2017. The ERICH is an initiative of the European Network of Healthcare Chaplains (ENHCC) and is hosted by the Academic Centre for Practical Theology (ACPT) in KU Leuven, Belgium.
  • The June Article-of-the-Month is a study of the perceptions of chaplains' value and impact within hospital care teams. Two chaplain co-authors, who had previously not been involved with research, have offered to our Network personal reflections on their experience.  --Also note especially the variety in AoMs over the past year: The April selection examines the roles that religion may play in Ethics Committee consultations around life-sustaining treatment. Chaplains' visits are addressed in the findings. The March study offers the first profile of chaplains working in Palliative Care in the US. The January feature explores "Critical Care Nurses' Perceptions of and Experiences with Chaplains." The November 2016 selection is a test of brief screening items for spiritual distress, for the purpose of determining the best method for screening cancer patients, with the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer standards in mind. The October 2016 AoM is "...A Descriptive Study of Chaplain Notes in the Intensive Care Unit." The September 2016 AoM presents an assessment of a picture-based communication card for use with mechanically ventilated adults in the ICU. The August 2016 article offers a model for a one-day workshop to educate front-line clinicians as spiritual care generalists and presents data on its efficacy. The June 2016 AoM is a diary study of the chaplain's role in the care of the seriously ill in an urban acute care hospital. And, the May 2016 AoM looks at the implementation of a Post-Code Pause for staff after resuscitations -- a process potentially involving chaplains.
  • The Summer 2017 Newsletter will be posted by the beginning of July. The Spring 2017 Newsletter contains a message form the ACPE President and notes on upcoming chaplaincy conference workshops, educational opportunities, research resources, and articles. Also, in recent issues: The Fall 2016 edition included news about the Transforming Chaplaincy project, various conference announcements, and an APC member survey. The Summer 2016 edition included an update on students' research activities in Virginia Commonwealth University's CPE program, descriptions of centers at Indiana University Health and at the Mount Sinai (New York) Health System, and a piece about scoping reviews.
  • The latest annual annotated bibliography of Medline-indexed articles on spirituality & health, from Pastoral Care at Penn Medicine -- for articles published during 2016 -- is available as a searchable PDF via
  •   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.
  • Spiritual Health Victoria has produced a Review of Literature (--click to download PDF, 80 pp.) regarding research that speaks to how spiritual care is provided by chaplains. It addresses spiritual care interventions and outcomes, how spiritual care is measured and reported, and the relationship between spiritual care providers and other healthcare staff. The review was created as part of a project with La Trobe University, with Australian chaplaincy especially in mind, but it is broadly relevant. It is linked to the Research page of the Spiritual Health Victoria website, which also offers a sign-up for a weekly eNews.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 ACPE, go to


  Contact:  Chaplain John Ehman (Network Convener) at
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