Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy in Religiously Diverse Societies

An international webinar with presentations by
Anne Hege Grung, Ph.D., Nazila Isgandarova, Ph.D. and Su Yon Pak, Ed.D.
Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Start time of event at host institutions:
10:00 a.m. (PDT) Vancouver
12:00 p.m. (CDT) Minnesota
1:00 p.m. (EDT) Toronto
1:00 p.m. (EDT) New York
7:00 p.m. (CEST) Norway

Free and open to the public; click here to register

The recent open-access volume Complexities of Spiritual Care in Plural Societies: Education, Praxis and Concepts (De Gruyter, 2022) contributes to an emerging field that could be referred to as “plural spiritual care and chaplaincy,” by innovatively bringing together contributions from a broad range of contexts and religious traditions. Including empirical work and conceptual explorations, the volume helps to fill the gap between practices and developments related to plural spiritual care and chaplaincy in the scholarly discourse and their application for practitioners serving religiously diverse populations in health and chaplaincy settings. In this webinar, Anne Hege Grung, the book’s editor, will introduce the project; contributor Nazila Isgandarova will discuss female voices in Islamic spiritual care; and contributor Su Yon Pak will explore Buddhist chaplaincy education at a Protestant seminary. Time will be allowed for discussion and questions.

Anne Hege Grung is professor of interreligious studies and dean of research in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo where she earned a Ph.D. in interreligious studies. In 2019 she was pivotal in establishing a master’s degree program in leadership, ethics and counselling at the University of Oslo, which provides training in chaplaincy and spiritual and existential care for a religiously diverse student group. She was the chair of the European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies (ESITIS) 2017–2022 and is presently a member of the Steering Committee for the unit Interfaith and Interreligious Studies in the American Academy of Religion.

Nazila Isgandarova is an assistant professor and director of the Master of Pastoral Studies Program at Emmanuel College of Victoria University in the University of Toronto. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, a D.Min. from Wilfred Laurier University, and a MSW from the University of Windsor. A registered psychotherapist, she is the recipient of the Forum for Theological Exploration Research Award for her study on domestic violence against Muslim women, the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care Senior Research Award, and the Society for Pastoral Counselling Research Award. She is the author of two books: Muslim Women, Domestic Violence, and Psychotherapy: Theological and Clinical Issues (Routledge 2018) and Islamic Spiritual CareTheory and Practices (Pandora Press 2019). 

Su Yon Pak is vice president for academic affairs and dean at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. She holds an Ed.D from the joint program of Teachers College Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary. She has revitalized the curricular and co-curricular work of field education. She was pivotal in creating the new chaplaincy concentration at Union and is the senior advisor to the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab. Her latest publication is a co-authored and co-edited volume, Sisters in Mourning: Daughters Reflection on Care, Loss, and Meaning, published by Cascade in 2021. Her interests include aging and spirituality, Asian/Asian American women and leadership, integrative education pedagogies, interreligious chaplaincy education, and poetry as theological reflection.

This program is organized and hosted by

Centre for Christian Engagement, St. Mark’s College at the University of British Columbia
Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo
Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas
Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at Saint John’s University