Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy

For a Special Issue on

Healthcare Chaplaincy in a Pluralistic Context

Abstract deadline
15 September 2023

Manuscript deadline
29 March 2024

Cover image - Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy

Special Issue Editor(s)

Anja Visser, PhD, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
[email protected]

Auli Vähäkangas, PhD, University of Helsinki, Finland
[email protected]

Karsten Thomsen, MA, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
[email protected]

Jason Nieuwsma, PhD, Duke University School of Medicine, North Carolina, United States
[email protected]

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Healthcare Chaplaincy in a Pluralistic Context

Aims of the Special Issue:

The goal of this special issue is to examine how the practice and function of chaplaincy is changing in a pluralistic context. We invite papers that investigate:

  • Case descriptions of chaplaincy interventions or organizations. These should include systematic reflection on choices and theory (what happened, why was this considered suitable, what is/was the purpose), for example using the guidelines by Fitchett (2011).
  • Descriptions of ‘field developments’ in chaplaincy in European and other highly pluralistic contexts, supported with empirical data.
  • Experiences of patients and professionals with chaplaincy.
  • Experiences of chaplains with their work in a pluralistic context.

Regarding the topics above, we especially invite contributions regarding how the increasingly pluralistic nature of chaplaincy practice intersects with caring for persons affected by natural and human-made disasters, war, or refugee experiences.


Western society is growing in religious and socio-cultural complexity, and the hegemony of Christian practice in the profession of chaplaincy is continuing to diminish. This is especially evident in many European countries and is increasingly pronounced within some regions of the U.S. No longer can chaplains assume a uniform approach to religion and identity among any groups or persons in their care. Religious, spiritual, cultural, and gender fluidity are increasingly the norm for individuals, within both secular contexts as well as in even seemingly homogenous communities. Providing spiritual care in this world means chaplains need specific skills and competencies, as well as fluency with varieties of psychological approaches and religious experiences.

Submission Instructions

For this special issue, the editors are requesting that authors initially submit paper proposal abstracts, after which decisions will be made on invitations for authors to submit full length manuscripts.

  • Proposal abstracts should be no more than 500 words, not including title, authors, and contact information.
  • Proposal abstracts should describe the potential manuscript and provide preliminary data if available.
  • Proposal abstracts should be submitted through Qualtrics, via this link and should include contact information for the corresponding author.

For inquiries, please contact Anja Visser, [email protected].


Important dates are listed below:

            15 Sep 2023: Paper proposal abstracts due (500-word limit)

            Nov 2023: Invitations to submit full-length manuscript will be sent

            29 Mar 2024: Invited full-length manuscripts due

Submit an Article