In 2011 George Fitchett issued a call, “Making our case(s)”, to develop a body of case studies in chaplaincy care for the sake of a firm foundation for chaplaincy care research.[1] Since that time he has been active with Steve Nolan to produce two volumes of case studies in chaplaincy care[2] and a special edition of Health and Social Care Chaplaincy[3] devoted to case studies. In the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy and elsewhere several case studies have also been published. The Dutch Case Studies Project in Chaplaincy Care is a direct response to Fitchett’s call, engaging chaplains and researchers in research communities to produce and evaluate case studies according to an established format. Now that the original production has taken place, the international conference ‘Do we have a case? Case studies research on chaplaincy care’ will take an initial comparative look at the published case studies, clarify issues of method and evaluation, and contribute to consensus on the direction of case studies research.  Special guests will be George Fitchett (USA) and Steve Nolan (UK). The conference will be organized by the University Center for Chaplaincy Studies in collaboration with Academic Advisory Board of the Dutch Association of Spiritual Caregivers. The UCGV is a new cooperative venture of the Protestant Theological University and Tilburg School of Theology. The purpose is to enhance research on chaplaincy and bring together different fields of chaplaincy care research in care settings, the military, prisons and community care. At the conference we will look in depth into one specific chaplaincy research methodology, that of case studies, in relation to the UCGV’s Case Studies Project.

The three basic questions we will be asking in the two days of the conference are:

  1. What are we learning from the published case studies in the context of chaplaincy care research and of various settings of chaplaincy care?
  2. What are we learning about case studies research?
  3. What are chaplains learning by producing case studies?

Day 1 will be devoted to the fruits of the case studies (question 1).
Day 2 will take a closer look at case study research (questions 2 and 3).

[1] Fitchett, G. (2011). Making our case(s). Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 17(1-2), 3-18. doi: 10.1080/08854726.2011.559829.
[2] Fitchett, G., & Nolan, S. (Eds.). (2015). Spiritual care in practice. Case studies in healthcare chaplaincy. London – Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Fitchett, G., & Nolan, S. (Eds.). (2018). Case studies in spiritual care. London – Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
[3] Health and Social Care Chaplaincy (2017), 5/2.


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