Call for applications: CIL Journalism Fellows

Chaplaincy Innovation Lab Fellowship in Spiritual Care Journalism

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab awarded fellowships in October 2023 to journalists to join a team that will profile recipients of chaplaincy and spiritual care. These profiles are part of an academic project studying opportunities for spiritual care across the American population with particular attention to interfaith encounters. The team will publish longform magazine pieces or professionally produced audio or video documentary profiles. We will share these pieces on the Lab’s website and expect the journalists to secure publication of their pieces in respected journalistic outlets. We will also ask the journalists to participate in a public webinar at the conclusion of the project to share their findings with Lab audiences.

For more information on the selected journalists, view their profiles here.

For more information on chaplaincy and spiritual care, please see the website of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, specifically THIS is What a Chaplain Looks Like.

What are our goals?
The purpose of this project is to significantly enhance public awareness both of chaplains’ availability and what it is they do for careseekers. As we learned in research conducted in collaboration with Gallup, many people do not understand who chaplains are, why they work where they do, how they are trained, and when and how they are available to individuals, families, and communities. Chaplains are almost always an unseen resource and this project aims to begin correcting that. These stories will also help us learn much more about careseekers and care recipients – who they are and why they have sought chaplains, as well as the outcomes of those interactions – than we could learn in a national survey.

What are the key findings from this project to date?
We have studied the issue of spiritual care in three major phases: the training and education of chaplains (the “supply” side), the utilization of spiritual care by individuals, families, and communities (the “demand” side), and the gaps between these two sides.

Who will own the rights for the products?
Journalists will retain all rights to their stories with a perpetual license to the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab to store, display, and distribute the products on our website. If the professional outlet where journalists place their work requires first North American serial rights, that is fine as long the agreement does not interfere with the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab’s ability to post the piece on its website in perpetuity.The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab will provide text for an acknowledgement to be included with any published work.

Who is providing journalist oversight for this project? 
We are partnering with Neil Swidey, Director of the Journalism Program at Brandeis University, to provide editorial guidance for  participating journalists.