Chaplains are invited to apply for the Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute (CRSI). First offered in July of 2017, the CRSI prepares chaplains to develop the skills necessary to conduct simple but important research and quality improvement projects. The CRSI follows a short-term, intensive format with ample opportunities for follow-up. Furthermore, participants will begin building a network of both early-career and established chaplains for future collaborations. The Institute includes a number of hands-on activities, including using PubMed to conduct a literature search and working in small groups to develop research questions and proposals which are presented at the end of the conference.

Chaplains have embraced the importance of a research-informed approach to chaplaincy practice, including the importance of research literacy. 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. religious and/or spiritual needs and resources of patients and families being served in a specific clinical context; pilot testing a new approach to screening for religious/spiritual need in a new clinical area) 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.

The content of the CRSI provides 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 includes a number of hands-on activities, including using PubMed to conduct a literature search. Participants also work in small groups to develop research questions and proposals which will be presented at the end of the conference.

The 2019 Chaplaincy Research Summer Institute will take place in Chicago from July 22 to July 26. Participants must be working or otherwise engaged as a chaplain, or providing consultation to chaplains, in a health-related setting (e.g., hospitals, clinics, hospices, or long-term care facilities). Applicants should send a one-page statement of interest (including relevant research experience) and resume to Andy Andresco, Transforming Chaplaincy Project Coordinator, at; questions should be directed to Andy via email or phone at (312) 942-0247. The 2019 schedule will be posted when available.

Lead faculty for the 2019 Institute include George Fitchett, Transforming Chaplaincy Co-Director, and Dr. Katherine Piderman. Dr. Piderman holds graduate degrees in theology and psychology and has served in ministerial roles in parishes and medical facilities.  Certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, she was a staff chaplain at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN from 1996-2017. She continues in the role of Coordinator of Spiritual Research and is Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.  She has led or contributed to several research projects related to excellence in pastoral care, spirituality and physical and mental health, and spiritual legacy research. She is published in multiple peer-reviewed journals and has spoken locally, nationally, and internationally.

Participants of the 2018 CRSI at Boston University School of Theology