Resources for Teaching Research Literacy in Chaplaincy

Textbooks for Teaching Research Literacy with Chaplains

Myers, G.E. (Ed.). (2014). An invitation to chaplaincy research: Entering the process. West Conshohocken, PA: The John Templeton Foundation. Sponsored by HealthCare Chaplaincy Network.

This free downloadable handbook, produced by the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, with support from the John Templeton Foundation, was written for chaplains with no research experience. It begins with stories from several chaplain researchers about how they got involved in research. It has solid introductory chapters on qualitative research and research methods. The chapter on statistics is well-written and should help research novices grasp the questions that are addressed by the most common statistical procedures.

We strongly recommend this text for use in teaching research literacy with chaplains.

Koenig, H.G. (2011). Spirituality and health research: Methods, measurements, statistics, and resources. West Conshohocken, PA: Templeton Press.

For several years, Harold Koenig, a pioneer in religion and health research, has taught a 5-day Summer Research Course on Religion, Spirituality and Health through the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University. This book is based on that workshop. The focus of the book is on the research about religion and health. Chapter 10 reviews Clinical Trials with Religious Interventions and includes a discussion of the two existing randomized-clinical trials of chaplain care. The book’s 21 chapters are divided into 5 parts.

Part 1 overviews existing research about religion and health. Part 2 covers research methods. Part 3 considers the literature on defining and measuring religion and spirituality. Part 4 introduces statistical tests and model building. Part 5 addresses publishing research and writing grants. Many of the chapters go into more detail than we envision in an introductory research literacy course but will be of interest to students with a strong interest in the subject.

VandeCreek, L., Bender, H., & Jordan, M.R. (2008). Research in pastoral care and counseling: Quantitative and qualitative approaches (reprint ed.). Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Pub.

This text was an important contribution to teaching chaplains and pastoral counselors about research. Newer texts, such as the two described above will be more suitable for teaching research literacy to those currently preparing for careers in professional chaplaincy.