Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

Building on a Legacy of Mentorship

Csaba Szilagyi, MDiv, MLA, MS, ACPE, FACHE

Director, Transforming Chaplaincy

Assistant Professor and Director of Research

Department of Religion, Health and Human Values

Rush University Medical Center


TL;DR – George Fitchett’s legacy of mentorship and guidance has left a lasting impression on those privileged to learn from him. George’s influence has been instrumental in helping many of us develop into the researchers and chaplains we are today. Give now and invest in Transforming Chaplaincy to develop future generations of evidence-based practitioners and researchers to advance healthcare chaplaincy.

I am grateful for the many colleagues who have contributed to our fundraising campaign to honor George Fitchett’s legacy and support the future of chaplaincy research. Thank you! Today, I find myself reflecting on a particular aspect of that legacy: the legacy of mentorship. It is clear that George’s legacy extends far beyond his groundbreaking research and remarkable contributions to the field of chaplaincy. His mentorship and guidance have left a lasting impression on those privileged to learn from him.

George has mentored many chaplains, researchers, and students alike throughout his career, positively impacting their lives and careers. He is known for his commitment to helping others develop their research skills, providing feedback on their work, and encouraging them to share their ideas, pursue new opportunities, and publish their work.

I know I would not be where I am without George’s mentorship and influence. We first met at the Transforming Chaplaincy “Summer Camp” (Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute) in 2018. I felt my ideas were heard and appreciated. He genuinely engaged with my busy and curious mind. George’s interest, guidance, feedback, and encouragement were instrumental and meant more than I can say in a brief blog post. Many of his mentees credit him with helping them develop into the researchers and chaplains they are today. He offers invaluable insights and perspectives, empowering them to grow and navigate challenges.

Such mentorship is crucial, as it provides us with advice, support, and opportunities for growth and development. It also allows for the transfer of knowledge and skills from generation to generation, ensuring that our profession continues to evolve and improve. Moreover, this mentorship cultivates connections and a sense of community within the profession.

Join us with a gift to support Transforming Chaplaincy in building on this legacy by cultivating networks of mentorship, learning, and collaboration. Driven by George’s dedication, Transforming Chaplaincy has already impacted and fostered professional growth for thousands of chaplains. Our programs have enabled chaplains to engage not only with research but also with their spiritual care practice more deeply and critically.

Consider investing in our efforts to develop future generations of evidence-based practitioners and researchers, thus advancing the field of chaplaincy and its role in healthcare.

PS – A gift that is meaningful to you is meaningful to us. Your gift of any size supports Transforming Chaplaincy and celebrates George. We hope you will include a note with your contribution that we can share with George as we celebrate him. Give now.

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