Templeton Foundation Awards $4.5 Million for Hospital Chaplain Program

in Chicago has announced two grants totaling $4.5 million from the to help hospital chaplains use research to guide and advocate for the spiritual care they provide.

The grants will support the medical center's Training Research-Literate Chaplains as Ambassadors for Spirituality and Health project, an effort to provide chaplains with the research-literacy training they need to more effectively provide services and advocate for their profession. The project includes a fellowship program that will pay for sixteen board-certified chaplains to complete a two-year, research-focused master of science or master of public health degree in epidemiology, biostatistics, or public health at an accredited school of public health; grants to help defray the cost of clinical pastoral education residency programs; and free online education.

"Healthcare chaplains have embraced the importance of evidence-based practice but lack the training to realize it," said project co-leader George Fitchett, professor and director of research in Rush's Department of Religion, Health, and Human Values. "More interdisciplinary collaboration and a growing understanding of how religion and spirituality can positively impact patient health means hospital chaplains are increasingly important members of a patient’s care team."

"$4.5 M Grants to Boost Hospital Chaplain Research Literacy" Rush University Medical Center Press Release 04/27/2015.