Gathering celebrates first chaplaincy graduates

Around 40 Carinity chaplains have gathered in Brisbane to welcome the first eight graduates of a Queensland-first pastoral care course.

Chaplaincy is experiencing a growth surge, with Carinity seeing a 10% increase in the take-up of chaplaincy positions over the past year, and strong engagement in chaplaincy training.

Carinity is helping to meet the demand for more chaplains. One of the few chaplaincy trainers in Queensland, Carinity’s Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, offered through The Training Collaborative, is the first course of its type in the state.

The eight new Carinity chaplains will serve in correctional centres and hospitals in Cairns, Sunshine Coast, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Brisbane.

Manager of Carinity Chaplaincy and Mission Services, Reverend Don McPherson, says the increasing demand for chaplains is being driven by growing realisation of the benefits of caring for people holistically and by increased social isolation and rising incarceration rates.

“When people think of chaplains they often think of school chaplains. But there is also increasing need for chaplains to support and guide people in the long-standing chaplaincy areas of prisons, hospitals and aged care communities,” Don says.

“Men and women who are incarcerated are among the most marginalised people in our society. A common attitude to people in prison is ‘out of sight out of mind’. People in prison are at the lowest point in their lives.

“Reports are multiplying that social media and smart phones increase isolation. While people have more devices to connect with each other, human touch and face-to-face interaction is diminishing as people have fewer personal conversations.”

Don says the need for more prison chaplains is increasing, with the number of adult prisoners in Queensland corrective services custody increasing by 6.6% between February 2017 and February 2018.t

Carinity has almost 60 chaplains working multi-denominationally across Queensland in hospitals, aged care and retirement communities, and correctional centres.

“Our chaplains provide encouragement, support and spiritual care to people in times of personal need. They provide a listening ear and assist people to access spiritual resources for living and for facing challenging times,” Don says.

Carinity chaplains are based in Brisbane, Gatton, Rockhampton, Cairns, Ipswich, Maryborough, Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast and Townsville.

Find out more about the Certificate IV in Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care at

t Source: Queensland Government, Custodial Offender Snapshot, 2018.

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