Theology at the Coal-Face of Hospitalisation

The Development and Evaluation of a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Chaplaincy


  • David Mitchell Glasgow University
  • Margaret Sneddon Glasgow University
  • Anna O'Neill Glasgow University
  • Susan Kennedy Glasgow University



Capabilities, chaplaincy education, competences, continuing professional development, spiritual and religious care


Healthcare chaplaincy is working towards recognition as a registered health profession. An accredited programme of professional education is part of that process. The University of Glasgow supported by NHS Education for Scotland have developed a programme of professional education for healthcare chaplains that is integrated into an MSc. (MedSci) in healthcare. This article outlines the commissioning, development and evaluation of a postgraduate certificate in healthcare chaplaincy by students, clinical mentors and experienced healthcare chaplains. It also highlights an innovative approach to practice development in spiritual and religious care in healthcare.

Author Biographies

  • David Mitchell, Glasgow University

    Rev. David Mitchell, Consulting Editor and Programme Leader, Healthcare Chaplaincy, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Glasgow University

  • Margaret Sneddon, Glasgow University

    Margaret Sneddon, Head of School, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Glasgow University

  • Anna O'Neill, Glasgow University

    Dr. Anna O’Neill, MSc (MedSci) Health Care Programme Director, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Glasgow University

  • Susan Kennedy, Glasgow University

    Susan Kennedy, BHF Cardiovascular Care Lecturer. University of Glasgow


AHPCC, CHCC, SACH (2007). Standards for NHSScotland Chaplaincy Services. Glasgow, Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains, College of Health Care Chaplains, Scottish Association of Chaplains in Healthcare, NHS Education for Scotland Healthcare Chaplaincy Training and Development Unit.

NES (2008) Spiritual and Religious Care Capabilities and Competences for Healthcare Chaplains. NHS Education for Scotland, Edinburgh

NHS (2008). CEL (2008) 49 Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy in NHS Scotland 2008 - Revised Guidance. Edinburgh, The Scottish Government.

NHS (2002). NHS HDL 76 (2002) Spiritual Care in NHS Scotland: Guidelines on Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care in the NHS in Scotland. Edinburgh, Scottish Executive Health Department.



How to Cite

Mitchell, D., Sneddon, M., O'Neill, A., & Kennedy, S. (2013). Theology at the Coal-Face of Hospitalisation: The Development and Evaluation of a Postgraduate Certificate in Healthcare Chaplaincy. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 14(1), 21-27.