Faith Tradition

Hindu Chaplaincy

Hindu chaplaincy is a growing field in North America and resources are increasingly available to meet the demand. The North American Hindu Chaplains Association (NAHCA) aims to be a resource and endorsing body for current and aspiring Hindu spiritual care-givers, for those interested in supporting Hindu care recipients, and for hiring institutions.

The association was launched in 2020 during a virtual conference on Hindu chaplaincy chaired by Dr. Asha Shipman, the Director of Hindu Life and Hindu Chaplain at Yale University with the support of Convergence on Campus. This launch, years in the making, featured keynotes, panels and resources on Hindu spiritual care-giving from the perspective of higher education, healthcare and community settings.

NAHCA plans to expand its support to those working in corrections and the military. In 2019, she and colleagues contributed to the first book on Hindu chaplaincy in the US, titled Hindu Approaches to Spiritual Care. You can read the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab’s review of the book here.

Flower Water

The field of Hindu chaplaincy has experienced many firsts in the past decades. There are currently only a handful of full-time professional Hindu chaplains, with sectors increasingly adding them to their teams. For more information on her path towards becoming Board Certified, read this piece by Swami Sarvaananda, leader in the healthcare field and the first Board Certified Hindu chaplain in the US.

Vineet Chander, co-editor of Hindu Approaches to Spiritual Care, pioneered Hindu chaplaincy in higher education when he was hired at Princeton University in 2008. You can learn more about how Hindu chaplaincy in higher education from these resources: Hinduism and Chaplaincy: Relating Core Concepts to Spiritual Care, the Lab’s page on Hindu chaplaincy in higher education, an audio short with Asha Shipman about Hindu chaplaincy, and Chaplaincy? Spiritual Care? Innovation? A Case Statement

Hindu chaplaincy is being discussed more and more and academic and other publications:

Please reach out to us here with additional resources.

The Lab is grateful to Zoë Pringle (Brandeis ’22) for creating this page.