Rawlings School of Divinity


Master of Divinity (MDiv)


Harold D. Bryant


End-of-life, Spiritual Care, Chaplain, Healthcare Chaplaincy, Missional Chaplaincy


Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Spiritual care is a necessity for end-of-life care. Those with terminal illnesses and facing death are concerned about things of spiritual or existential nature. The National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care study indicated that most patients want to have their spiritual concerns addressed, and yet, spiritual concerns are not adequately addressed with the medical team and the current system of care. This paper builds on the role of the chaplain within a healthcare context for those facing end-of-life scenarios and reinforces the impact of the chaplain to fulfill his primary role of addressing eternal issues. Healthcare chaplains enter the world of the hurting, those in crisis, pain, and turmoil and offer impactful ministry that is not available through traditional church settings and reach those who may be isolated from further spiritual care. The chaplain’s availability at someone’s end of life offers a window into God’s love and concern for their soul and eternity by offering the ministry of presence, listening, and probing into matters of the soul with pastoral and theological expertise.