Who are School Chaplains?

School chaplains are in the prevention and rescue business. They’re helping students find a better way to deal with issues ranging from family breakdown and loneliness to drug abuse, stress and anxiety. They provide a listening ear and a caring presence for kids in crisis… and those who just need a friend. All have a passion to improve the lives of young people.


Chaplaincy supports young people in one of the most complex environments in our society — the school. Today, there are over 1,650 state schools with chaplains across the country. These chaplains provide a safe and supportive influence.


Role of School Chaplain

  • School chaplains are active in promoting student wellbeing, particularly through the provision of pastoral care.
  • School chaplains encourage reflection about the spiritual dimensions of life.
  • School chaplains have an educative role in the areas of beliefs, values, morals, ethics and religion.
  • School chaplains work as part of the school support team to facilitate connection into the school network and wider community of students who are suffering from bereavement, family breakdown or other crisis and loss situations. 


The voluntary services provided by a chaplain should be appropriate to the school and student context in which he will operate. Within this context, chaplains will be expected to respect the range of religious views and affiliations, and cultural traditions in the school and the community, and be approachable by students of all faiths. It is not the purpose of chaplaincy services to bring about or encourage commitment to any set of beliefs.


It is important to note that school chaplains cannot provide services for which they are not qualified, for example, counseling services or psychological assessment, or medical assessment. The key tasks of a chaplain may include facilitating access to the helping agencies in the community, both religious-based and secular, with the approval of the Student Services Deputy.