Chaplaincy Innovation Lab receives $750,000 to extend the chaplains’ work amidst COVID-19 pandemic

February 19, 2021

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab was awarded $750,000 in the form of two grants from the Henry Luce Foundation in the second half of 2020, allowing the lab to continue to support chaplains who are on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release by the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab. This is an additional $250,000 received by the lab following a $500,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation awarded to the lab in July

“Chaplains have been at the front-lines since the pandemic starting supporting people who are ill, health-care workers, and their families,” founder and director of the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab Wendy Cadge (SOC/WGS) wrote to The Brandeis Hoot in an email. “Being able to support their often-overlooked work is central as the pandemic has physical and economic effects as well as emotional and spiritual ones.” 

Because of the coronavirus pandemic and calls to address systemic racism in the United States, chaplains are being “called on now more than ever to address some of the most pressing and deeply felt needs of the communities,” according to a BrandeisNOW article. The grant will assist the work of chaplains across the country at a time of increased spiritual demand.

The lab used the award to give out 16 micro-grants, totaling over $440,000 to fund the work of chaplains, according to the press release. This includes support for programs serving university and college faculty, healthcare staff and their families across the country.

“Projects financed by these grants include focusing on the challenges facing healthcare environmental service staff; leadership in healthcare systems; the need for restorative practices for faculty and staff in higher education; support for medical language interpreters as they work with patients, families, and healthcare teams; and more,” according to the press release.

Free virtual support groups are also available to chaplains through the funds in partnership with the Albert and Jesse Danielsen Institute at Boston University, according to the press release.These support groups serve over 100 chaplains are essential for maintaining the ability of chaplains to provide spiritual care and will continue through December 2021. 

The Chaplaincy Innovation Lab was founded in 2018 and supports research, teaching and the provision of spiritual care in a range of settings. The Henry Luce Foundation is a non-profit established in 1936 by Henry Luce aimed at bringing important ideas into the American consciousness. The foundation adheres to their mission through grant-making in a variety of areas such as American art, higher education, religion and theology and public policy. 

Editor’s Note: Sports Editor Sophie Trachtenberg is a research assistant at the Chaplaincy Innovation Lab. She did not contribute to the writing or editing of this article.

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