Court Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care in Australia: An Exploratory Study Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper summarizes an exploratory study undertaken to consider the work of Australian chaplaincy personnel ministering to people proceeding through emotionally challenging judicial court proceedings. This qualitative research (a first among Australian court chaplains) was not concerned with specific court procedures per se, but predominantly about the perspectives of chaplains concerning their professional contribution and issues they experienced while trying to assist people struggling with court processes. Data from a single focus group indicated that court chaplains were striving to fulfill religious and spiritual duties according to national and international standards. Given various frustrations identified by chaplain participants, which either impeded or thwarted their professional role as chaplains, a number of improvements were subsequently identified in order to develop the efficiency and effectiveness of court chaplaincy and thus maximize the benefits of spiritual and pastoral care to people in court. Implications of this exploratory study relate not only to court chaplaincy but also to ecclesiastical organizations, governments and the need of support for further research to be conducted.

publication date

  • 2015