Educational and theological aspects of university chaplaincy work
The nature of the role and function of the university chaplain is as much determined by educational considerations as theological ones. While there is an almost essential marginality to chaplaincy work, it is safeguarded from any sense of irrelevancy by sharing in the university's central concern with human development. A study of the factors involved in student development reveals its holistic nature. Spiritual development has its own particular place in the developmental process. The pattern of spiritual development has many parallels with other aspects of development more obviously encountered in a university setting. Research on student development has insights to offer for the expansion of chaplaincy work. Consideration of the traditional models of chaplaincy reveals their failure to take adequate account of the educational implications. A new and adequate model of chaplaincy requires educational as well as theological foundations. Such thinking results in a threefold approach to chaplaincy work centering on ministry to the institution, to the individual and to the Christian community; an approach which is responsive yet innovative, flexible and transient, largely unstructured, but with a consequent freedom for experiment.