Members of 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 is offered at no cost through Virginia Commonwealth University. This course is made possible by matching funds from the four professional chaplaincy associations, each of which recognizes participation in the online course toward chaplains’ annual required continuing education.

The main goal of this 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. Prior research background is neither required nor expected.

Questions about the course should be directed to Transforming Chaplaincy Project Coordinator Dr. Kathryn Lyndes at

Session 1, Fall 2017 – September 18 to November 6

Interest in Session 1 exceeded expectations and class capacity; the course’s instructors hope to accommodate a larger group for Session 2.

Session 2, Spring 2018 – January 22 to March 12

Synchronous times and dates for Session 2 will be announced in November 2017, along with instructions for registration.

Photo: Jeff Auth CC BY-SA 3.0