Home | Presence | Forums | Login | search this site
Find a Spiritual Director
and Training Program
Retreats with Spiritual
International in the
Going Blue and Green!
Resources for Students
Reviewed books and
media in Presence
How do Chaplains see themselves as spiritual directors?
How do spiritual directors see themselves as Chaplains?
A ngela Harpham
Both spiritual direc tors and chaplains are minis tries of deeper lis tening.
There are some differences between spiritual and religious care needs .
Spiritual direc tion is , as s tated by Spiritual Direc tors International, ‘tending the holy
around the world and ac ross traditions ’.
In chaplaincy satis fying both spiritual and spec ific religious care needs is required and
religious care needs are usually res tric ted to a particular faith group.
A great deal of minis try in chaplaincy is informal spiritual direc tion, lis tening and
helping people reflec t on what is happening in their lives , both in group s ituations and
one to one.
How do I integrate chaplaincy and spiritual direc tion and vice versa? There are subtle
differences . For ins tance I would desc ribe myself as a:
chaplain and informal spiritual direc tor for patients /c lients .
Here boundaries overlap
chaplain though not spiritual direc tor when providing a lis tening ear (informal
spiritual direc tion) for some s taff.
Here boundaries are more dis tinc t
chaplain and spiritual direc tor where this had been formalised with spec ific s taff
Here the boundaries are very c lear
spiritual direc tor when providing informal and formal spiritual direc tion with other
chaplains both in my own team and externally. C haplains sometimes want
another chaplain because they unders tand chaplaincy.
Here boundaries are c lear