Spiritual Care Week
Pastoral Care Week
Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research
October 24-30, 2021
Spiritual Care Week/Pastoral Care Week is hosted by The COMISS Network: The Network on Ministry in Specialized Settings. The first Pastoral Care Week was held in October 1985. Since then it has grown beyond national to international proportions. The celebration of Spiritual Care Week provides an opportunity for chaplains and pastoral care counselors, educators and providers to share their story and to celebrate various ministries. More specifically, the established objectives of the Spiritual Care Week Committee outline the scope of Spiritual Care Week observance:
To celebrate the education for and practice of spiritual care through professional chaplaincy and pastoral counseling.
To interpret and promote pastoral care.
To honor and celebrate all practitioners of pastoral care.
To express appreciation to institutions and their staff who support pastoral care ministries.
To publicize the work of pastoral care organizations affiliated with COMISS.
To promote continuing education for clergy, laity, and institutional employees regarding the value of pastoral care.
Each year a new theme brings to the light a certain aspect of spiritual care as a focus. A new theme invites us to new and creative ways to tell the story of spiritual care.
Celebrate This Week
Spiritual Care Week gives opportunities for organizations and institutions of all kinds and types to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which the caregivers provide.
This Year's Theme
Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research
Spiritual Care Week: October 24-30, 2021
Meaning and purpose are used often as spiritual definitions for chaplains and spiritual care providers. Chaplains and spiritual care providers have often defined their roles as a ministry of presence. Today chaplains and spiritual care providers exist in a data-driven and evidence-based world, particularly for those who work in health settings. Thus, the need to provide empirical evidence related to the care provided by chaplains and spiritual care providers. The needed evidence may be gained through qualitative and quantitative research methods.
An opportunity to apply research in specific settings where chaplains and spiritual care providers practice should produce both patient-centered and practitioner outcomes that validate the research. If validated research outcomes are transferable into a chaplain’s practice, it informs the chaplain of the effectiveness of his or her practice and, more importantly, brings value to chaplain care based on clinical outcomes, as well as needed dollars to support chaplain care.
Therefore, research becomes the frontier of our profession to measure what good chaplaincy work does for patients and teams within that specific setting. Since the practice of chaplaincy work is more than supportive care it has become imperative that chaplains and spiritual care providers embrace research. When integration and application of research merge, the efficacy of chaplaincy practice is then notable and measured.
Chaplains and spiritual care providers enjoy collaboration with peers around the care of patients. Collaboration is a necessity when juxtaposing chaplaincy work and research. Collaboration is more two-way/mutual in that the chaplain needs to both communicate AND listen based on evidence-based research. Research that informs chaplains and spiritual care providers about navigating institutional systems and preferred standards of professionalism within the healthcare continuum for patient-centered care becomes the model for chaplains and spiritual care providers as they offer care. Research can also better equip the chaplain to define their roles in the data-driven and evidence-based world by providing measurable goals.
Research becomes the catalyst to make the subjective objective, the invisible visible, the intangible tangible and also fosters appreciation and legitimacy from those who do not reside in the role of chaplaincy work. Research needs to be systematic as a tool to establish common ground on which chaplains and spiritual care providers and the industry agree. Research allows chaplains and spiritual care providers to be more efficient and strategic, creating leverage and advocacy towards the sustainability of the profession. Research will provide a guideline to train chaplains and spiritual care providers to incorporate better practices in whatever setting they serve.
2004 Pastoral Care Week
2015 Pastoral Care Week
2010 Pastoral Care Week
2009 Pastoral Care Week
2006 Pastoral Care Week
2003 Pastoral Care Week
The Spiritual/Pastoral Care Week Committee
For more information or to send feedback or comments please e-mail the
Pastoral Care Week Committee c/o
Chaplain Clyde Angel
Pastoral Care Week Committee:
Clyde Angel: Chair (First Term) - 2022
Elaine Barry - 2021
Brenda Brown - 2023
Kathleen Gallivan - 2022
Peter Oliver - 2022
Kimberly Russell - 2023
Carolyn Huff - 2024
Tim Staker - 2024
2013-Spiritual Care Week
2008-Pastoral Care Week
2016-Pastoral Care Week
2012-Pastoral Care Week
2007-Pastoral Care Week
2005-Pastoral Care Week
MERCHANDISE TO SUPPORT YOUR CELEBRATION
Spiritual Care Week is no longer offering Spiritual or Pastoral Care Week celebration merchandise. If you desire to have items available to support your local Spiritual Care Week celebration, we encourage you to download one of the printable logo images above and take it to a local printer or merchandiser to create any desired celebration items.
We can't wait to hear from you
Did you celebrate Spiritual Care Week last year?
What did you do to celebrate Spiritual Care Week?
How did you celebrate Spiritual Care Week?
Are you going to celebrate Spiritual Care Week this year?