Transforming Chaplaincy is directly involved in cultivating new cohorts of research-literate chaplains. Two online courses will be offered in Fiscal Year 2024.  Details will be announced this coming spring, 2024

The main goal of these courses is to build research literacy skills: reading and applying research articles to the important work chaplains do as front-line healthcare providers in religion and spirituality. The aims of these courses include enabling participants to articulate the rationale for chaplaincy as an evidence-based profession; identifying and accessing research literature related to spirituality, religion, and health; critically reading and evaluating current research related to chaplaincy practice; and identifying ways of applying research to current practice.
RL 101
Research Literacy 101:  An Introduction for Chaplains
5 weeks


  • to understand evidence-based spiritual care and its rationale

  • to provide an overview of spiritual care research,

  • to help see that all research is not equal and

  • to receive resources for research literacy

Knowledge: Participants will be introduced to the…
Evidence-based perspective for chaplaincy care
Print resources on chaplaincy research
Online resources on chaplaincy research
Major research methodologies – quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method
Hierarchy of research for evaluation
Components of a scientific manuscript
Tools to summarize a research article

Skills: Participants will…
Create case-study content
Access and search peer-reviewed literature
Interpret and evaluate research
Summarize and present on a research study and findings

5 hours/week

For much of the course, participants can complete their course work at a time convenient for them (asynchronous). This five (5) week long course wraps up with a 2-hour live session.

No prerequisite


Course will begin again on Wed., September 18th running through Wed., October 23rd.
Stay tuned for details on how to register!
RL 102*
Research Literacy 102: A Deeper Exploration for Chaplains
10 weeks


  • to conduct meaningful literature searches and locate research articles in chaplaincy-related area(s) of interest

  • to understand and interpret written and tabulated results in research articles

  • to evaluate the strength of study design and understand limitations

  • to apply research findings to chaplaincy practice, chaplaincy program development, and communication with healthcare colleagues and leaders

Knowledge: Participants will gain knowledge about…
Notable studies in spiritual care research
How qualitative and quantitative studies are reported
Critical evaluation of major research designs and methodologies
Research ethics and Institutional Review Boards
Tools to critique a research article

Skills: Participants will…
Identify articles of interest and locate available full text
Identify to what extent an article is generalizable to their setting
Interpret p-values and statistical significance
Determine structure of and chaplain involvement in local IRB
Identify specific application of course articles within your setting

5 hours/week (reading/videos/posting to discussion board)

Participants can complete their weekly course work at a time convenient for them (asynchronous). Time zone and country of residence are not impediments to participation.

Prerequisites (one of these 3)

  • Transforming Chaplaincy, Research Literacy 101 course.

  • Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute (CRSI) hosted by Transforming Chaplaincy

  • Transforming Chaplaincy’s online course, “Religion, Spirituality and Health: An Introduction to Research.” Taught by VCU faculty 2017-2019.

Both courses are asynchronous, with the exception of RL 101’s final session each cycle.  Courses are taught by Transforming Chaplaincy Research Fellows, aid in BCCI required research literacy preparation, and count toward research-related CE hours. For more information contact Paul Galchutt