Why we value chaplaincy

24 June 2019
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Earlier this year, the ACT announced a decision to end the National School Chaplaincy Program in public schools after 2019.

While debate continues to swirl around the value of school chaplaincy programs, I would like to highlight what our chaplaincy team contributes to the community of Beaconhills College.

Chaplains are the heart of the school. They lead and support the spiritual growth and development of staff, students and parents. Our chaplains help people find meaning and purpose in their lives and are an integral part of our wellbeing team. As a Christian College that supports a multifaith community, our chaplains remind us all how we can strive to be better people, rise above adversity and be given hope.

It’s a curious dichotomy that while organised religion in western civilisation is declining, faith-based schools are going forward. Research has shown families choose faith-based school such as Beaconhills because of the values they hold and impart to their students.

While some schools have just a single chaplain, we are fortunate to have five qualified teaching chaplains, working alongside counsellors and Heads of House to support families, students and staff.

As the Head of the National School Chaplaincy Association, Peter James said (Eternity, 25 February 2019), secular learning and wellbeing frameworks “recognise the importance of spiritual support as part of achieving student wellbeing and educational outcomes.”

“Secular doesn’t mean the exclusion of all things religious”, he said.

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