Higher Education

University chaplains, most often employed by colleges and universities, join campus ministers employed by outside organizations in providing religious and spiritual support on campuses today. Evidence suggests that growing numbers of lay people and women have been employed as university chaplains over time. Rebecca Barton, a doctoral student in sociology at Brandeis University, has authored a working paper on the literature surrounding this form of spiritual care. Key organizations include the following. If you’ve got more resources you think we should include on this sector, let us know at

Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education

The Association for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Life in Higher Education (ACSLHE) brings together professionals who are committed to nurturing the religious and spiritual life of students as a critical part of the mission of higher education in the 21st century. They work within the structures of higher education to engage issues of meaning in the lives of the students, staff, and faculty of university communities.

Members include deans, directors, and chaplains of various roles; large research universities and small liberal arts colleges; and leaders of a wide range of religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions.

ACSLHE is the result of the merging of the National Association of College and University Chaplains (NACUC) and the Association of College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA) that occurred in 2020.

For more information, visit the ACSLHE website.

Classes on higher education chaplaincy

Survey instrument on chaplaincy / spiritual care in colleges and universities

Through a project funded by BTS Center, the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab collaborated with scholars around the country to conduct a campus-wide survey on students’ experience of spiritual and religious life. We have developed a generic iteration of the survey and are happy to provide the instrument to researchers and religious life leaders interested in learning more about the needs of their student communities. The instrument is available at no charge, and the Lab requests acknowledgement in any resulting internal or external publications. For more information and to request the survey, please contact Executive Director Michael Skaggs at