The ACPE Research Network

The ACPE Research Network seeks to foster connections among ACPE Educators and Spiritual Care Professionals interested in research, encourage original research, and raise awareness about published research (e.g., in the health care literature and the education literature) related to spirituality, pastoral care, and Clinical Pastoral Education.

The ACPE Research Network contributes content to: .

  GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS (updated December 13, 2017):

  • Transforming Chaplaincy ( launched its new website on November 16, 2017, reflecting its expanded function as an international hub for information about chaplaincy research. The Transforming Chaplaincy project also issues its own very informative newsletter, to which you may subscribe for free.
  • The Fall 2017 Newsletter includes a Convener's report on the future of the Network and our website, news of developments at various ACPE centers, a personal story of the experience of the Chaplaincy Summer Research Institute, a note of a review of "Recent Progress in Chaplaincy-Related Research," and announcements of upcoming international research meetings. Also, see our Summer Newsletter issue especially for information about the new ACPE Research Committee and events at our annual conference, a note of the addition of research to the Common Qualifications and Competencies for Certification for Professional Spiritual Care, and the announcement of the European Research Institute for Chaplains in Healthcare.
  • The December Article-of-the-Month "presents the results of a 30-month process improvement initiative examining the spiritual assessment documentation patterns of staff chaplains as well as CPE residents and interns at an academic medical center" [--to quote the article's abstract]. It speaks to issues of chaplain training, professional development, and a culture of quality improvement in pastoral care departments. Lead author Alexander Tartaglia has contributed a special comment to our Network.  --Also note the variety of AoMs over the past year: The November AoM evaluates a conversation game to help prepare CPE students for end-of-life discussions. The research was supported by a grant from the ACPE and involved the CPE program at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. For October, three articles review the State of the Science of Spirituality and Palliative Care Research. The September feature explores "God imagery and affective outcomes in a spiritually integrative inpatient program," with data having been collected by chaplains at a mental health facility. The August article presents a test of Spiritual AIM as a care model and, along the way, provides insights into a conceptualization of fatalism found in the health care literature. The July and June selections look in different ways at the role of chaplains. The April article examines how religion may play in Ethics Committee consultations around life-sustaining treatment, with chaplains' visits addressed in the findings. The March study offers the first profile of chaplains working in Palliative Care in the US. And the January feature explores "Critical Care Nurses' Perceptions of and Experiences with Chaplains."
  • Announcing the European Research Institute for Chaplains in Healthcare: (redirects to, which began on June 6, 2017. The ERICH is an initiative of the European Network of Healthcare Chaplains (ENHCC) and is hosted by the Academic Centre for Practical Theology (ACPT) in KU Leuven, Belgium.
  • The Rush Research Article Summary Outline, a resource used by George Fitchett and Patricia Murphy in teaching research literacy, is now available as a PDF and Word document. It has also been added to our page of resources for Incorporating Research into CPE.
  • The latest annual annotated bibliography of Medline-indexed articles on spirituality & health, from Pastoral Care at Penn Medicine -- for articles published during 2016 -- is available as a searchable PDF via
  • An Invitation to Chaplaincy Research: Entering the Process, ed. by Myers, G. E with Roberts, S. (2014), is an excellent resource for chaplains new to research. It is available freely through the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, which produced the resource with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
  • Spiritual Health Victoria has produced a Review of Literature (--click to download PDF, 80 pp.) regarding research that speaks to how spiritual care is provided by chaplains. It addresses spiritual care interventions and outcomes, how spiritual care is measured and reported, and the relationship between spiritual care providers and other healthcare staff. The review was created as part of a project with La Trobe University, with Australian chaplaincy especially in mind, but it is broadly relevant. It is linked to the Research page of the Spiritual Health Victoria website, which also offers a sign-up for a weekly eNews.
  • The "Knowledge Base of Spiritual Care Samples," which was developed through the Spiritual Care Initiative for Professional Excellence [formerly the Ideal Intervention Paper (IIP) Project] and posted on our site until 2012, is now available in print as a four volume set from Judson Press: The Pastoral Caregiver's Casebook series, edited by John J. Gleason. See our SCIPE page for more information.
  • Some Network members have asked for personal email notifications of new postings to our website: e.g., Articles-of-the-Month or Newsletters. If you would like to receive such announcements from John Ehman (Convener), then please send your request to
  • Workshop Materials:


    Materials from the workshop, "Teaching Research Literacy in CPE: Current Models and Practical Options" (presented at the 2013 national ACPE conference):

    Also, see the sample of program syllabi for Model Practices for Teaching Research in Clinical Pastoral Education, and other resources from our section on Incorporating Research into CPE (including a presentation about the Spiritual Pathways Project, by Paul Derrickson and Angie van Hise, mentioned during the workshop).



If you are a first-time visitor, please also note:

This web site became operational on September 1, 2002. It will continue to evolve in response to suggestions from Network members. To submit suggestions, please directly e-mail the Network's convener at All member correspondence is confirmed by return e-mail.

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  Contact:  Chaplain John Ehman (Network Convener) at
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