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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 01/06/2021 16:40:05

Title of Module: Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care

Code: THEO07021 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Dr Ian  Birch

Summary of Module

This module will introduce the basic principles and practices of chaplaincy and spiritual care. It will consider the historical development of different forms of chaplaincy from their origin to the present day. This will be done with reference to theology and the biblical narrative. The module will also explore contemporary expressions of chaplaincy, such as Chaplaincy-workplace, healthcare, armed forces, education, sport and prison.

Spiritual care is at the heart of chaplaincy, which seeks to listen and offer support to people of all faiths and none. This module will explore the meaning of spiritual care as it relates to religious care. Consideration will be given to the appropriate use of self and the importance of boundaries. Pastoral issues arising from a variety of contexts will be explored and best spiritual care practice will be evaluated.

The future shape and development of chaplaincy will also be considered, including the challenges and opportunities that this may involve.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. L1. Describe and explain the different forms and expressions of chaplaincy, their emergence, their relevance today, and future development.

L2. L2. Show an informed awareness of the influence of church theology and biblical narrative in spiritual care practice.

L3. L3. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the use of self with regard to listening skills, power dynamics, boundaries and reflective practice.

L4. L4. Differentiate between religious and spiritual care and elaborate on the relationship between the two.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

SCQF Level 7.
Develop a broad knowledge and awareness of the development of chaplaincy, the place of theology, biblical narrative and faith traditions in its practice.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

How to deliver spiritual care in a variety of contexts by the appropriate use of self, and the application of listening skills, reflective practice and pastoral insight.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Research and critical evaluation of written and real life case studies of chaplaincy expressions. Also exploration of the nature of spiritual and religious care and their practical application.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Use of library, books, internet resources in the advancement of learning and critical enquiry.
Present relevant, organized material that facilitates discussion and group learning.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Working alone and with others to explore the theological, historical, practical and future significance of issues relating to chaplaincy.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery9
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity9
Asynchronous Class Activity18
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Key Text Book:
Swift, C., Cobb M., & Todd, A., Handbook of Chaplaincy Studies (Ashgate Publishing Limited: Surrey, 2015)

Anderson, R. S., Theology, Death And Dying (Wipf& Stock: Eugene, Oregon, 2001)

Bruce, S., Religion In The Modern World: From Cathedrals To Cults (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2000)

Cobb, M., Puchalski, C. M., Rumbold, B., (Eds.) Oxford Textbook Of
Spirituality In Healthcare (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2012)

Coward, H., Sin And Salvation In The World Religions: A Short Introduction (Oneworld: Oxford, 2003)

Fitchett, G., Nolan, S., (Eds.) Spiritual Care In Practice: Case Studies In Healthcare Chaplaincy (Jessica Kingsley Publishers: London, 2015)

Gordon, T., A Need for Living (Wild Goose Publications: Glasgow, 2001)

Gordon, T., Kelly, E., Mitchell, D., Spiritual Care for Healthcare Professionals
(Radcliffe Publishing: New York, 2011)

Graham, E., Walton, H., & Ward, F., Theological Reflection: Methods (SCM Press: London, 2005)

Leach, J., & Paterson, M., Pastoral Supervision: A Handbook (SCM Press: London, 2012)

Moore, T., Care Of The Soul In Medicine: Healing Guidance For Patients, Families, And The People Who Care For Them (Hay House Inc: London, 2010)

Ramachandra, V., Faiths In Conflict: Christian Integrity In A Multicultural World (Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester, 1999)

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelDivinity
ModeratorDr Lina Toth
External ExaminerDr Helen Paynter
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assignment: Essay 60%
Practical: Presentation 40%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark601

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark400.5
Combined Total For All Components100% 1.5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
As a Christian theological college, students should be aware that teaching, discussion and the college's ethos are from a confessional viewpoint. The college actively encourages an environment of openness and religious tolerance, but the main function of the college is the training of ministerial candidates and the learning environment will be supportive of this.

Where students need additional support, this is provided by the college team with reference if appropriate to other UWS colleagues, when they are referred to Student Support Services for further assistance. In consultation with the student, the needs of individual students are met, wherever practicable, and every effort made to ensure individual students are not disadvantaged
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.