July 23, 2018

Seaport Chaplaincy


Port Chaplains – Religious Congregations

Wendy Cadge (Brandeis University), Jason Zuidema (NAMMA), and Michael Skaggs (Brandeis University)

Funded by the Louisville Institute

This project asks how congregations are connected to deep-water ocean ports in the United States and Canada through the work of port chaplains. It expands the work of a three-year project started n July 2017 funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the United Kingdom. In this project we ask what kinds of relationships exist between port chaplains and local congregations in North America and how they might be strengthened for the benefit of congregational clergy, members of local congregations, port chaplains, and the seafarers served. Through interviews and short ethnographies, we are developing case studies of congregation-port relationships in four of the largest cargo ports in North America. Those interviews and ethnographies will support the development of educational materials about the work of ministering to seafarers for port chaplains to share with local congregations and to distribute to other chaplains and seafarers’ welfare organizations through the North American Maritime Ministry Association. We will also develop resources and training for port chaplains to facilitate stronger, ongoing port chaplain-local congregation relationships.