Students, friends, faculty, and alumni,

Photo of Andrew Chirch, ChI Executive Director

Andrew Chirch, Executive Director

I write this in response to some recent concerns brought by a former student at The Chaplaincy Institute.

We received an ethics complaint from this individual and took it seriously – as is our policy and practice. We conducted an investigation, reviewing the allegations, and in this case, found them to be unsubstantiated.

We at The Chaplaincy Institute (“ChI”) have a sacred ethical responsibility. As caregivers, we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards and respect all orientations and spiritual paths. Because of state and federal privacy laws, we are unable to comment on any additional student-related specifics. What we can do, however, is lovingly share our policy and ethical standards, which *always* apply.


The Chaplaincy Institute staff, students, clergy, and spiritual directors agree to adhere to the Common Code of Ethics for Chaplains, Pastoral Counselors, Pastoral Educators and Students, aka “The Code of Ethics for Spiritual Care Professionals.” Please read this, as it serves as an important thread in the tapestry that is ChI. If you’re reading this post, you are likely bound by the Common Code of Ethics.

Any time there is a complaint involving ChI faculty, staff, students or volunteers, that complaint will be taken seriously and investigated. Full Stop. In addition, temporary and immediate measures will be taken as appropriate to protect or remove individuals from harm. No matter who you are, no matter what you believe, or what concern you’ve brought, we commit to you that we will listen without judgement, and act on what we hear with abundant care.

Depending on the outcome of any such investigation, appropriate action will be taken, and the involved parties will be notified.

In these times, we as a community and an institution are called to be compassionate with each other, to protect each other and anyone we can from harm. In addition we know that we will not always get things right. When that happens, we commit to make amends, learn from our mistakes, and do better next time. We will not deflect, cover up, minimize, or hide from hard truths. We commit to meet them directly and honestly. You deserve that. The world deserves that.
May we be reminded of our shared humanity, and of our duty of care as chaplains, spiritual directors, and keepers of ChI’s Mission:  The first line of which is:
“To educate and empower individuals for innovative interfaith service and spiritual care that heals and transforms the world.” Please read our full mission, vision, and core values here.

If you can’t tell by now, I’m serious about this sacred charge.

I welcome your questions, concerns, hopes, and dreams for this community and our world.

You can reach me at andy(at)chaplaincyinstitute(dot)org or by phone at 510-295-0491

In faith,