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A Four-Way Exploration of a Merger Seeks to Create a Spiritual Care Professional Network

Four religious chaplaincy training and certification organizations – Association for Clinical Pastoral EducationAssociation of Professional Chaplains, National Association of Catholic Chaplains, and Neshama: Association of Jewish Chaplains – decided to explore joining together to form a spiritual care professional network.  The groups have been working together for years, holding joint conferences and other educational programming. They are exploring a formal collaboration at this time because competing entities have been emerging (whereas they were once each the original and only entity for their specialty), and they would like to solidify their practices and historical success while further professionalizing for a more competitive future.  In addition, while there has been research showing that participation in institutional religion is on the decline, the need for interfaith trained chaplains and spiritual care providers has been rising.  The organizations are evaluating the full gamut of collaborative structures, with the ultimate goal of maximizing organizational efficiencies in order to train a competent and versatile spiritual workforce, streamlining lines of business, increasing market share, structuring for growth, and achieving administrative efficiencies.  A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration supported a portion of the costs of a facilitator to explore the options.

Grant Information

Grant Amount: $18,000

Year Granted: 2020

Grantee: Association for Clinical Pastoral Education

Location: International

Grantee Website: Association for Clinical Pastoral Education