All members of the following professional chaplaincy organizations (Neshama—the Association for Jewish Chaplains, the National Association for Catholic Chaplains, the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and the Association for Professional Chaplains) are invited to participate in a free online 8-week course titled Religion, Spirituality, and Health: An Introduction to Research that will be offered at no cost through Virginia Commonwealth University.

This course is made possible by matching funds from the four professional chaplaincy associations listed above. Each of these organizations recognizes participation in the online course toward chaplains’ annual required continuing education.


The course will be offered four times. The dates are set for the first two offerings:

Session 1:          Fall, 2017             September 18 to November 6

Session 1 Registration Now Closed – we hit our target!

Interest in Session 1 exceeded our expectations, and we had to close registration. We hope to accommodate a larger group in the future. We will post details about the three upcoming sessions as they become available.

During Session 1, the class will meet synchronously three times on Tuesdays on the following dates:

Week 1 (September 19); Week 6 (October 24); Week 8 (November 7)

At the following time: 3:00-4:00 pm Eastern; 2:00-3:00 pm Central; 1:00-2:00 pm Mountain; Noon-1:00 pm Pacific


Session 2:          Spring, 2018         January 22 to March 12

Synchronous dates/times for Session 2 will be posted when they become available. We will send an announcement when registration opens for Session 2 (in November 2017).


Course Description

The main goal of the course is to build research literacy skills, that is, reading and applying research articles to the important work you do as front-line healthcare providers in religion and spirituality. The aims of the course 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.

This course is designed and taught by Diane Dodd-McCue and Lex Tartaglia of Virginia Commonwealth University. Course topics and themes include an introduction to current research on spirituality, religion, and health; introduction to evidence based practice; common research terminology; introduction to research design, methods, and measures; and ethical issues in human subjects research. Course content will be delivered through the use of on-line and synchronous distance learning. Blackboard and Zoom technologies will be used for class discussions and made available to all participants through the host institution.

No prior research background is required nor expected.

Questions? Please contact the Transforming Chaplaincy Project Coordinator: