Motivational Factors in Mental Health Chaplains

Practitioners’ Perspectives


  • Peter Madsen Gubi University of Chester
  • Harry Smart Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust



Mental Health, Chaplaincy, Chaplain, motivation


The role of Mental Health (MH) Chaplains in the UK is unclear. Their motivation to undertake and sustain them in the work is under-researched. The aim of this research is to explore what motivates people into MH Chaplaincy, and what motivates them to remain. For this research, eight MH Chaplains were interviewed to explore what brought them into MH Chaplaincy and what motivates them to remain in it. The data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Three major themes emerged: Contextual; Early motivation; Sustaining Motivation. The data revealed significant factors that motivate MH Chaplains to undertake the work, and factors that sustain them in the work. Implications for recruitment, training, supervision, appraisal and professionalization are explored.

Author Biographies

Peter Madsen Gubi, University of Chester

Revd Dr Peter Madsen Gubi is Senior Lecturer in Counselling at the University of Chester, and non-stipendiary Minister of Dukinfield Moravian Church, near Manchester

Harry Smart, Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust

Revd Harry Smart is former Lead Mental Health Chaplain at Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust.


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How to Cite

Gubi, P., & Smart, H. (2014). Motivational Factors in Mental Health Chaplains: Practitioners’ Perspectives. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 1(2), 149–164.