When the Chaplain is Ready the Teacher will Appear


  • Michael Paterson NHS Spiritual Care (Scotland)




Chaplaincy, epistemology, health and social care, ontology, spiritual care


This series of articles has explored the changing face of contemporary healthcare chaplaincy. In this final article, the author proposes a way through disorientation (article one) and imbalances of power (article two) to a future in which patients offer a leading role in shaping chaplains’ spirituality (ontology) and formation (epistemology).

Author Biography

Michael Paterson, NHS Spiritual Care (Scotland)

Michael Paterson leads on Values-Based Reflective Practice within NHS Spiritual Care, Scotland. He is currently developing an undergraduate formational degree in spiritual care for new entrants into the profession.


Department of Health (2013). A Promise to Learn – a Commitment to Act: Improving the Safety of Patients in England [The Berwick Report]. Available online at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/berwick-review-into-patient-safety

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (2013) Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry [The Francis Report]. Available online at: www.tsoshop.co.uk

Miller-McLemore, B. J. (2012) Christian Theology in Practice: Discovering a Discipline. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Mountain Dreamer, O. (1999) The Invitation. San Francisco, CA: HarperOne.

Romanoff, B. D. and B. E. Thompson (2006) “Meaning Construction in Palliative Care: the Use of Narrative, Ritual, and the Expressive Arts”. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care 23(4): 309–16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1049909106290246

Schön, D. A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. London: Basic Books.



How to Cite

Paterson, M. (2015). When the Chaplain is Ready the Teacher will Appear. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 3(1), 41–46. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i1.27524