Course Memo

Chaplains are responsible for providing a spiritual presence at significant life milestones, from birth to death. Individuals in different chaplaincy settings may need support in daily prayer, during religious holiday observances, and various rituals and sacred practices across a vast spectrum of traditions. This class explores the dynamics of chaplains' engagement in life-time rituals, including faith-specific rites, which may trigger a dilemma for some chaplains when asked to perform these roles and duties. We will examine ethical and theological questions related to day-to-day interreligious chaplaincy work. How would a non-Christian chaplain respond to infant baptism or provide the sacrament of the sick in end-of-life care? How to address innate biases against rituals from other traditions different than your own? How to create innovative and inclusive practices and navigate faith boundaries while facilitating diverse communities' spiritual needs? The class will offer a combination of asynchronous and synchronous lectures, reflection and research papers, or projects. Open to MA, M.Div., D.Min., and Ph.D. students.