Euro-Chaplaincy News





The former coordinator of the ENHCC, Anne Vandenhoeck will receive the GWish Award for Excellence in Interprofessional Spiritual Care on July 9th,2018 in Washington, DC.

To celebrate launching the first Interprofessional Spiritual Care Education Curriculum (ISPEC) training program and the bestowing of the Annual GWish Award for Excellence in Interprofessional Spiritual Care, The GW University and the GWish Board of Directors are hosting the 5th Annual Gala Dinner on July 9, 2018 at the prestigious Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. They are so honored to present the 2018 GWish Award for Excellence in Interprofessional Spiritual Care to Anne Vandenhoeck, PhD.

Dr. Anne Vandenhoeck, is a Professor of Pastoral care and pastoral theology, chair of the academic center for practical theology KU Leuven (Belgium), founding member of the European Research Center for Chaplaincy and former coordinator of the European Network for Healthcare Chaplaincy. As a Belgian Catholic chaplain, she worked for more than 13 years in several hospitals: General Hospital A.Z. Damiaan in Oostende (2 years), University Hospital UZ. Gasthuisberg (10 years), CPE in UCSF San Francisco (3 months), Barnes Jewish Hospital St. Louis Missouri (1 year). She holds a PhD in Pastoral Theology and in addition to her academic work she is a board member of the professional association for catholic chaplains in Belgium. Professor Vandenhoeck is an internationally recognized leader in chaplaincy and spiritual care.

Dr. Howard Koh, Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard university and former Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the keynote speaker of this prestigious dinner.

[July 2018]





Announcing the Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute (CRSI) July 24-28, 2017
Rush University Medical Center Chicago, Illinois

Background and Purpose

Chaplains have embraced the importance of a research-informed approach to chaplaincy practice. 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.


The audience for the CRSI includes chaplains who wish to develop modest projects to advance their understanding of chaplaincy-related issues and practices (e.g. the religious and/or spiritual needs and resources of patients and families being served) and chaplains who are providing leadership to chaplaincy quality improvement projects. The CRSI will also be useful for chaplains who plan to collaborate on research projects with other non-chaplain investigators as well as those planning chaplaincy-related DMin projects.

Content Overview

The content of the CRSI will provide participants with an introduction to the research process, to various methods relevant for chaplaincy research (e.g. case studies, qualitative and quantitative methods), and to important examples of existing chaplaincy-related research. The CRSI will include a number of hands-on activities and small groups to develop research questions and proposals. Following the CRSI, participants will have the option to participate in a free monthly check in as they continue to develop and refine projects in their home contexts.


The CRSI will be led by George Fitchett, DMin, PhD, BCC, Rush University Medical Center. Additional onsite faculty include: Daniel H Grossoehme, DMin, BCC, Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Patricia Murphy, PhD, BCC, Rush University Medical Center, and Kathryn Lyndes, PhD, MDiv, MSW, Rush University Medical Center. Additional faculty will participate by video conference.

Details and Application

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.

Additional Information

Additional details and application information for the CRSI can be found on the Transforming Chaplaincy website. Questions about the Institute may be addressed to; 312-942-0247.

[December 2016]



Advanced European Bioethics Course ‘Suffering, Death and Palliative Care’, February 14 - 17, 2017

The section of Healthcare Ethics, department IQ healthcare, (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre) organizes the 19th edition of the advanced European bioethics Course ‘Suffering, Death and Palliative Care’ from February 14 – 17, 2017.
Objective of this course is to educate the participants on two main aspects: ethical questions of palliative care and medically assisted death, and philosophical, theological and medical reflections on the concepts of death and suffering. Attitudes towards death and dying, and the ethical aspects of continuing or foregoing medical treatment, and of medically assisted death receive considerable attention in this course. In addition, the dimensions of spirituality, rituals and intercultural diversity are covered.
The key-note lecture will be held by prof. Philip Larkin, president of the European Association for Palliative Care ( and Professor of Clinical Nursing (Palliative Care) at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, University College Dublin.
This course is of interest to participants from diverse professional backgrounds, such as nursing, medicine, health care administration, ethics, philosophy, theology and pastoral care, and PhD students undertaking courses of study in these areas. Course language is English. Costs: € 690,- for early bird registration (before January 1st 2017), € 790,- from this date onwards.
For more information or registration, please follow the links or contact:
Simone Naber: Tel: +31 (0) 24 - 3613359/ +31 (0) 24 - 3615320.
For updates and the latest news follow us on twitter: @palcarecourse.

[December 2016]



Feeling Felt – Challenges for Pastoral Care and Counselling

The 13th Conference of the European Council for Pastoral Care and Counselling

Dear members of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy,

It is our pleasure to invite you to the 13th Conference of the European Council for Pastoral Care and Counselling, ECPCC, which will be held on the 23rd-28th of August in 2017 at the Institute for Advanced Training of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland in Järvenpää, Finland.

Please find more information on the Conference website, also in Facebook: ECPCC2017.

The theme of the Conference is Feeling felt – Challenges for Pastoral Care and Counselling.

Call for Workshops/Papers

The organizers of the 13th ECPCC conference cordially invite you to submit an abstract for a workshop or paper to be presented at European conference of the European Council for Pastoral Care and Counselling in Järvenpää, Finland 2017.

Deadline for submitting an abstract: 30 August 2016.

Process of accepting workshops and papers will start at 19 September 2016.

Conference registration starts in January 2017.

Submit the abstract for your paper through the electronic form. (Abstract submission form link here). If you have further questions, please contact Sirkku Tukiainen

[June 2016]




Birmingham Children’s Hospital launches world’s first resource centre for paediatric spiritual care

New book also launched to help medical professionals caring for sick children and young people

The world’s first spiritual care resource centre for medical professionals working with sick children, young people and their families, has been launched by Birmingham Children’s Hospital. After a three year ground-breaking project that spanned the hospital a new online centre is now live. In addition, a new study centre, which houses more than a 1,000 books, articles and papers on the subject has been set up for staff.

A new book ‘Spiritual Care with Sick Children and Young People’, written by Rev. Paul Nash, Rev. Kathryn Darby and Dr Sally Nash, was also unveiled at a conference last week that welcomed delegates from across the country to Birmingham. The event offered the opportunity for the hospital to share its findings from four years of work looking to improve spiritual care for patients and families.

Both the new resource centre and book share the findings, knowledge and positive experiences of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital project, which although led by the multi-faith Chaplaincy team was unique as its included training for all staff, including nurses, doctors, youth and play workers, so the spiritual care of patients and their loved ones is a constant consideration.

An important aspect of spiritual care is that it’s not defined by religious beliefs. For some patients and families their faith does form an important and integral part but this is not the case for all. At its heart it’s about recognising that every child has unique spiritual needs, alongside their physical.

It’s recognised that each patient has individual personalities and features with different interests, skills and hopes for the future. Ensuring these are treated with dignity and compassion is an important aspect of spiritual care.

As explained in the new online resource centre and book, the project found that simply listening, taking views seriously and providing positive spaces are hugely beneficial for young people wrestling with important questions at that time of their lives, while at the same time coming to terms with their illness.

Making connections to get children to discuss their feelings can be difficult, which is why at staff across a range of disciplines have been using different ways to engage. A hugely successful method of doing just that has been the use of activities to build bridges to open up dialogue, which in term helps build resilience helping young people and their families through their journeys.

Rev. Paul Nash, Senior Chaplain at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “We’re proud to be able to launch the world’s first dedicated centre on the hugely important subject of spiritual care. The intention is for this to become a hub for healthcare professionals in this country and across the world to share resources, encourage further research and celebrate good practice to continue to improve care for sick children and young people.”

“Over the last few years we’ve been on a fascinating journey of discovery and improvement. What’s been evident is things can work so much better if this area of work isn’t exclusively limited to chaplaincy teams, which is why we’ve been working across disciplines, including our doctors, nurses and youth workers, to deliver new and innovative methods.”

“We’ve seen the positive results this work has been having for our children and families, working alongside medical treatment for a truly holistic approach to caring for and supporting our patients and their loved ones.”

Notes to Editors

Rev. Paul Nash, Senior Chaplain at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, is available for interview to discuss the world’s first paediatric spiritual care resource centre and new book on the subject.

To arrange or for any other enquiries please contact Paul Whittaker, Communications Manager, Birmingham Children’s Hospital: 0121 333 8511 or

[January 2016]





The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) celebrates 50th Anniversary

US Catholic Chaplains gathered in Arlington, Virginia from the 6th to the 9th of March, 2015 to celebrate the association's 50th anniversary. Prof. Dr. Anne Vandenhoeck's congratulatory letter follows.

ENHCC coordinator's letter

[April 2015]



NHS England – NHS Chaplaincy Guidelines 2015: Promoting Excellence in Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care

Prepared by: The Revd Dr Chris Swift in consultation with the Chaplaincy Leadership Forum and the National Equality and Health Inequalities Team, NHS England


The guidelines replace those published in 2003 and provide a comprehensive description of good practice in chaplaincy care for the NHS in England. Some key points:

- The document responds to changes in the NHS, society and the widening understanding of spiritual, religious and pastoral care. In the light of the 2010 Equality Act new guidance is provided for the care of patients and service users whatever their religion or belief.

- The guidelines recognise the development of chaplaincy in a range of specialities including General Practice and in areas such as Paediatrics and Palliative care.

- Research and innovation are affirmed as important areas for chaplaincy both for improved practice and as a basis for commissioners to understand the benefits of chaplaincy-spiritual care.

- The Guidance draws on evidence from practice to recommend the resources needed for chaplaincy staffing across a range of contexts in the NHS. Implementation of the guidance will improve support for patients, carers and staff across the health service.

- The implementation of the guidance will improve support for patients, carers, family members, volunteers, and other people accessing NHS services and staff across the health service.

- It is anticipated that further documents and good practice guides will be developed in partnership with other agencies to elaborate and contextualise these guidelines.


Click here for the complete guidelines.


[March 2015]



The 2015 Caring for the Human Spirit® Global Conference (April 20-22, 2015), Orlando, Florida

A Unique Professional Continuing Education Opportunity for Chaplains

Dates: April 20-22, 2015

Attendance: Either remotely via webcast or in person

Where: Walt Disney World Resort, The B Resort and Spa, Orlando, Florida


Attendees at the 2014 first global conference described it as a transformative experience for the profession and for advancing the integration of spiritual care in health care. The line-up of speakers, workshops, and intensives for this year is equally stellar.


The Early Bird rate for in-person registration is available through March 20th: $275 individual or $225 for two or more attendees from one institution. Registration after March 20th is $375 for an individual or $325 for two or more attendees from one institution. For those who cannot attend in person but wish to attend via webcast – individually or as a group from your institution ‒ the rate per site is $995.


Details about the conference can be found at

Registration online is at


[March 2015]





ICPCC Congress in San Francisco USA

Information has been received about the forthcoming congress of the International Council on Pasgoral Care and Councelling which will be held in October 2015 in San Francisco USA: "Care in Our Global Village"


Information Leaflet

Call for Workshops

[July 2014]



The Lutheran Church of Estonia thanks Finnish hospital chaplains

Naatan Haamer and Kerstin Kask from Estonia visited Helsinki and the annual Finnish Conference of Pastoral Counsellors and gave the medal of honor of the Lutheran Church of Estonia to Rev Esa Fabrin, Rev Pekka Sääski and Rev Jukka Tuominen for the work they have done for developing training in health care chaplaincy in Estonia since 1992.
Rev. Kirsti Aalto got the same medal of honour earlier this year in Tallinn, Estonia.


[April 2014]




International Conference to be held in Rhodes

With the approval of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the blessings of the Ecumenical Patriarch, the 3rd International Conference of the Network of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Pastoral Health Care, with the theme “The Wound”. This third conference will be held on October 8 – 12, 2014 in Rhodes.
Participants will be representatives from the Holy Metropolises that belong spiritually and administratively to the Ecumenical Patriarchate across the world, representatives from the other Patriarchates, the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, the Orthodox Theological Schools and Ecclesiastical Academies in Greece and abroad, doctors, nurses, and those related to the ministry and patient care in the sensitive field of health.
The participants will be invited to consider the theological and medical - scientific concept of “The Wound”; how people are injured in the various stages of life, particularly as a result of physical illness, abuse, natural disasters and national misfortunes, as well as, how one can deal with these wounds in the most appropriate manner.
More information go to the Network’s Website


[February 2014]




Marlene Inauen has passed away following a fall. Click here for more information.

Condolences for Marlene can be sent to: Luzia Räber, Wydäckerring 71, 8047 Zürich, Switzerland.

[March 2013]

SIPCC 25th International Seminar in Mainz, September 2013

More Information

[October 2013]

The Woolf Institute announces new online course.

More Information

[March 2013]

The 12th Congress of ECPCC entitled "Pastoral Care and Counselling: Borders and Boundaries" will run from 15-20 August 2013.

For more information click here

[March 2013]

Dates for the Advanced European Bioethics Course "Suffering, Death and Palliative Care" have been announced as 26 February – 1 March 2013.

For the announcement and more information click here.

For the course programme click here.

[January 2013]