Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Sharon H. Callahan

Second Advisor

Yvonne Ibarra

Third Advisor

Vicki J. Farley

Abstract

This research studied the experience of military and Veteran Affairs chaplains who work with a spectrum of military veterans. The purpose was to better understand how chaplain training prepared or failed to equip spiritual care providers to minister to service members during and/or after the initial experience that they identified as traumatic.

The researcher asked nine open-ended questions to encourage and facilitate reflective responses. After grouping responses with similar answers, the researcher coded the chaplains’ responses to determine themes that would describe and somehow encompass the phenomenon of serving as a chaplain in a war theater. Throughout the study, the researcher was guided by the theology developed primarily by Paul Tillich. Enriching Tillich’s understandings were the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ. Taken together, their writings and insights offered a spectrum of possibility that not only drew from the spiritual care training provider but also extended that training to the broad experience of service chaplains serving in war theaters.

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