Chaplaincy in Education

There is a School Chaplaincy Support Network which meets twice a year for a day’s training and is open to everyone undertaking a chaplaincy support role in a school or college either as a member of staff or in a voluntary capacity. For more information please contact Tatiana Wilson

Chaplaincy in an education setting can take many shapes, it is essential is that it meets the needs of the institution and responds to the local setting.

There are a variety of models within the Diocese of Exeter; however there are some fundamental principles which need to be considered.

  • Support from senior management
  • Support from local church communities, ecumenical where possible
  • Support from the Diocese, licensing of chaplains, providing training etc.
  • Adequate resources, these need not be financial
  • A base, this can be virtual
  • Chaplaincy is not a vehicle for proselytising

Chaplaincy can offer:

  • Additional and specific spiritual and pastoral support of students
  • Support for staff
  • Additional support/ resource to the curriculum
  • Critical incident support
  • Community links
  • Can be seen as working beyond the “ gates”
  • Additional activities
  • Chaplains can often go where other “fear to tread”

Remember that Chaplaincy is to the whole community.

Chaplaincy can best be described as the Walk to Emmaus,  Chaplains walk alongside all participants of an institution, they listen to their story, they support their issues, if appropriate share their own story and sign post to others for further guidance and support if necessary.

The Four Principles of Chaplaincy

  • Incarnational – “the Lord is with us”, being a tangible presence of God in the Institution.
  • Prophetic“voice in the wilderness”, raising issues, supporting specific causes and including these on the margins and unrepresented groups.
  • Pastoral“walking alongside” providing support in various ways at a level that is appropriate, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially.
  • Educational – supporting the development of faith, by providing a variety of resources to enhance enquiry and understanding by direct and indirect teaching.

The Church of England, Education Division publishes regular bulletins for Higher Education. The latest can be found here.

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