We are pleased to announce a conference, “Chaplaincy in the Public Square,” to be held at Rush University Medical Center on June 17, 2016 from 8:30-4 pm, Room 994 Armour Academic Center.

The United States has been described as a society where peoples’ ties to faith communities are weakening. Winnifred Sullivan, our first plenary speakers, will present the argument that this may open new opportunities for chaplains’ spiritual care. However, advancing chaplaincy will still require making a compelling case for it. Chaplain Christopher Swift, our second plenary speaker, has helped make the case for chaplaincy care in the UK, a society where peoples’ ties to organized faith communities have already weakened. Join us as Drs. Sulllivan and Swift and other presenters help us think about what all this means for making the case for chaplaincy in healthcare and other public contexts in the US.

Conference keynote speakers:

Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, PhD, is Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies Indiana University Bloomington. She is also an Affiliated Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law at IU and the author of A Ministry of Presence: Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care, and the Law (Chicago 2014).

Christopher Swift, PhD is Head of Chaplaincy Services, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. He is a former President of the College of Health Care Chaplains and the author of Hospital Chaplaincy in the Twenty-First Century (Ashgate, 2nd edition, 2014). In 2014 he led a project for the National Health Service England to establish new national guidance on chaplaincy.

Click here for advance registration.

The conference program is attached. For additional information contact Eleanor Welch, Department of Religion, Health and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center: phone 312-942-5571; email

The conference is co-sponsored by the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values and the Bishop Anderson House.