Chaplaincy Innovation Lab eBooks


The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab offers eBooks on a growing variety of topics. These resources are offered freely for use by all. If there are topics or ideas you’d like to see explored in an e-book, please reach out. All of these eBooks are created by CIL staff, partners, supporters, and experts in their field.

Questions and comments may be directed to eBook series editor Michael Skaggs, Lab Director of Programs.

Chaplains in Maryland: Mapping and Assessing Needs

by Amy Lawton and Lijun Lin

This eBook reports on an ICJS-supported mapping study to determine where chaplains are serving in Maryland, what their needs are, and how the field can better support them.

Learn more and download this eBook.

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Resilience for Spiritual Caregivers

by Michael Skaggs

This eBook reports on the multiple ways the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab has supported resilience in spiritual caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as models for support beyond COVID.

Learn more and download this eBook.

FEAT IMAGE Luce COVID Resilience

Mapping Buddhist Chaplains

by Rev. Dr. Monica Sanford, Rev. Dr. Elaine Yuen, Dr. Cheryl Giles, Rev. Hakusho Johan Ostlund, and Alex Baskin

This eBook describes results from a North American survey on Buddhist education, training, and practice. It significantly aids understanding how Buddhist chaplains are trained and where they work; Buddhism’s unique contributions to the profession; and systemic barriers and how Buddhist chaplains overcome them. It also provides a backdrop for future research and professional projects

Learn more and download this eBook.

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Caring for Interfaith Caregivers

Produced with support from the Russell Berrie Foundation

This eBook describes methods to support interfaith chaplains in New Jersey through the promotion of resilience, interfaith understanding, and relationship building. These efforts included creating a single resource cataloging all organizations in New Jersey that employ chaplains; a four-week series of conversation circles, professionally facilitated for small groups of chaplains; and a half-day workshop at Drew University on trauma response.


Learn more and download this eBook.

COVER Russell Berrie eBook

Staff Care in the Midst of Traumatic Events

Edited by Shelley Varner-Perez

This eBook will help chaplains better care for staff who are experiencing traumatic events on an institutional level. Produced by a team of chaplains from one of the oldest spiritual care departments in the United States, it offers practical and adaptable resources that can be used in a variety of settings according to specific needs.

This eBook does not endorse any one particular model of staff care or suggest a comprehensive approach. Rather, it urges readers to consider what their institutions may need and how the examples within the eBook can support those needs.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Staff Care 1-1

Educating Effective Chaplains in Theological Schools

Su Yon Pak / Zachary Moon

This eBook is intended for theological schools that are considering creating or revising an existing program in their institution to train people for chaplaincy and spiritual care. There are a variety of models of chaplaincy education programs, as this e-book demonstrates, currently in theological schools, and many ways program take form.

This eBook does not endorse any one particular model. Rather, it urges the readers to consider the existing strengths, history, and mission of their institution to build the model that works.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Cover image of Educating Effective Chaplains eBook

The Art of Spiritual Care: Beginner’s Guide to Clinical Pastoral Education

Chaplaincy Innovation Lab / Mychal Springer

Clinical pastoral education, or CPE, is one of the hallmarks of modern professional chaplaincy. Yet how CPE “works” — identifying a well-fitting program, understanding the goals of the model, and what bearing it has on the daily work of spiritual care can all be unclear to newcomers to the field. This beginner’s guide, authored by one of the leading experts in CPE in the United States, truly functions as a beginner’s guide: whether one is familiar with CPE or has never heard the term before, this guide offers an introduction to this key educational model that many chaplains want (and many also need) to complete.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Cover of Art of Spiritual Care, introducing CPE

Conversation Circles

Chaplaincy Innovation Lab and Fetzer Institute

The experiences of chaplains of color have long been excluded and marginalized in the work of spiritual care. As part of a project to launch Spiritual Care Provider Networks and with support from the Fetzer Institute, the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab offered a series of conversation circles for chaplains of color and others from January to June 2021. This eBook reports on that project and offers a model for others to adapt and implement in their own settings.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Feature image of Conversation Circles page early 2022

Student Mental Health and Spirituality

Chaplaincy Innovation Lab and Ruderman Family Foundation

College and university students face greater mental health needs than ever before, and those needs were only exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. With the support of the Ruderman Family Foundation, chaplain-counselor teams at Brandeis University and Northeastern University piloted a discussion group model to better understand how students relate mental health needs and spirituality and to help students see how one can support the other.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Care

Wendy Cadge and the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab

When the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab launched its Field Guide series in the fall of 2020, we realized that we were making many assumptions about what interested individuals already knew about chaplaincy and spiritual care. More directly, we realized we needed to provide a beginner’s guide to the field, which wouldn’t require someone to know all the ins and outs of degree programs, field training, endorsement, and more. Directly from that learning experience comes this Beginner’s Guide to Spiritual Care.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Trauma and Moral Injury

A Guiding Framework for Chaplains

Shelly Rambo, Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon, and Jasmine Terry Okafor

In the summer of 2020, the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab was fortunate to be able to draw on the experience of several experts on trauma, moral injury, and both the individual and societal damage that these forces can wreak. Download this important document and give us your feedback!


Learn more and download this eBook.


Meditations on Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care

A conversation with chaplains across settings

This eBook summarizes the findings of a combination strategic planning, visioning process with a diverse group of participants.

In mid-December 2019, the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab partnered with the Fetzer Institute to bring thirty chaplains, chaplaincy educators, and social scientists working in the United States into a face-to-face conversation about the current and future state of chaplaincy and spiritual care. Download this important document and give us your feedback!


Learn more and download this eBook.

Fetzer ebook cover

Caring for Those Who Care 

This eBook provides inspirational stories about and resources for chaplains to assist them in supporting the staff in their organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In these days of COVID-19, there are those among us who go every day to face the dangers of infection and yet still show up to care for those stricken by this pernicious disease. 

As chaplains, a significant part of our role in these times is not with patients or their families, but in supporting the care providers.


Learn more and download this eBook.

Caring for Those Who Care eBook cover

Grief: The New Normal

This eBook provides resources from the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, for all who are grieving and those who love them.

Grief has become the new normal. Scholars and mental health providers have spent decades studying death and grief, coming to understand the processes and best ways to care for us when bereaved.

Some of the topics in this free eBook include: 

  • “I never said goodbye.” Resources for Complicated and Unresolved Grief
  • “It didn’t seem serious… just a cough.” Resources for Guilt, Regret and Grief
  • “All I feel is rage.” Resources for Anger’s Role in Grieving
  • And more!


Learn more and download this eBook. 

Grief: the new normal, eBook cover

Spiritual Care Resources for Religious Holidays

This eBook shares innovative ways that chaplains and other spiritual leaders are finding to celebrate together during this pandemic and beyond. It does not cover all religions or beliefs nor every holiday at this point. But, we will continually add to this document.

In these challenging times, as in difficult times in the past, it is our instinct to gather and share rituals as a way of facing a shared crisis.  Unfortunately, social distancing and orders to stay at home make coming together not only impossible but inadvisable. We think you’ll find this eBook helpful.


Learn more and download this eBook. 

Spiritual care resources ebook cover

Boston Area Chaplaincy Resource Guide

This eBook shares resources relevant and helpful to chaplains and those interested in chaplaincy in the Boston area, the geographical home of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab. It was produced in partnership with and under the leadership of Professor Shelly Rambo of Boston University School of Theology.


Download this eBook. 

We also recommend eBooks published by our partners in spiritual care:

In Their Own Words: Stories of Chaplains’ Creativity, Courage, and Compassion during the Early Pandemic

Transforming Chaplaincy, 2022
Edited by Cate Michelle Desjardins and Nina Redl
With a foreword by Katherine Piderman and Physician’s Response by Steven Clark Cunningham
In Their Own Words cover 500sq

This free eBook contains journals recorded by five chaplains from across the US during the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic.  These journals were read in part at the 2021 APC conference plenary and are being released for the first time in full.  The journals tell stories of caring for patients, families, and healthcare colleagues in the Spring of 2020 when hospitals were filled with Covid-19 patients, when understanding of the virus and how to treat it was scarce, and chaplains and other healthcare workers faced unknown risks to their health and the health of their loved ones.  The journals contain profound theological and personal reflection, narratives of extraordinary resilience, creative ministry, and chaplains’ responses to racism and racial reckoning during the Summer of 2020.