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Pastoral Care

The Pastoral Care Team

The Pastoral Care team consists of board-certified staff chaplains, Clinical Pastoral Education certified educators and candidate educators, year-long resident chaplain students, chaplain intern students, and contract chaplains. Chaplains are more than pastors; they are clinically trained clergy and lay ministers who provide culturally sensitive care to all persons. This means that chaplains do not proselytize or evangelize patients, families, associates, or physicians. In fact, doing so is a violation of the chaplains’ code of ethics.

Mary Washington Healthcare chaplains come from many religious and spiritual traditions, including African Methodist Episcopal Zion, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Buddhist, Charismatic, Church of God in Christ, Interfaith, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal, Humanist, Lutheran, Muslim, Non-Denominational, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, United Churches of Christ, United Methodist, and Unitarian-Universalist.


The chapels at Mary Washington and Stafford Hospitals are each located on the second floor of their respective hospital. They are always open to the public and are readily accessible.

How to Reach a Chaplain

For emergencies, 540.741.1100 or 0 and request the chaplain on call

Department phone: 540.741.1654

We also have a Clinical Pastoral Education program which provides graduate-level clinical training in ministry. Click here if you are interested in learning more about this program.

Meet Our Chaplains

What is Pastoral Care?

It might include:

  • Listening with care and sensitivity
  • Prayer, meditation, or contemplation
  • Leading guided imagery, breath work, anxiety containment, conflict resolution
  • Reading scripture
  • Providing sacred or religious literature
  • Caring for the bereaved, scared, and hurting
  • Performing, celebrating, officiating, or facilitating religious rites or rituals (like baptism, anointing of the sick, Eucharist, etc.)
  • Facilitating communication and understanding between patients/families and the medical team
  • Discussing religious, ethical, and moral dilemmas and decisions
  • Advocating for patient’s religion-based healthcare decisions
  • Contacting community religious leaders

Chaplains are Mary Washington Healthcare content experts in:

  • Religious and spiritual care of patients and families
  • Religious and existential beliefs and practices
  • Assessing for spiritual needs and coping effectiveness
  • Grief care and support, including officiating funerals, when requested
  • Officiating spiritual services and religious rituals
  • When and how to contact local religious leaders
  • Group process and conflict mitigation and resolution
  • Advocacy for patient rights, including access to spiritual and cultural services.

When to call a chaplain:

  • When a patient or family requests the chaplain
  • When a patient or family receives bad news
  • When a patient’s condition deteriorates unexpectedly
  • When the patient or family is struggling to cope with a new diagnosis
  • When there is a conflict in the family
  • When a patient dies
  • When associates experience moral distress
  • When a patient arrests
  • When patients, families, associates, physicians, or volunteers need someone to listen
  • When all medical interventions have failed
  • When a patient wants their religious leader contacted
  • When a patient has religious practices that inform health care decisions
  • When a patient requests a religious ritual
  • When a patient requests a Bible or other religious literature

Chaplains participate with other hospital departments to address cultural issues, patient satisfaction, patient and family centered care and patient safety.

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