Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Committee Chair

Sheri D. Adams

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Danny M. West


Staff members at Hospice Cleveland County struggle to provide quality spiritual care to dying patients or their family members because the staff members are not trained chaplains. Staff members tend to fall back on "pat" answers that can sometimes cause the patient or family members to have even more unresolved spiritual issues.

This project sought to determine whether or not hospice staff could become more empowered to give quality spiritual care by being introduced to the basics of pastoral care to the dying and their families. Information was shared by way of presentations; practical experience was gained by role-playing and shadowing.

The pre-test/post-test scores indicate that the participants learned the basic theology of pastoral care to dying patients and their families. There was enthusiastic verbal affirmation of the process, including the desire to repeat the project for a longer period of time. Individual growth of the vast majority of the participants, as a result of the project, has resulted in better care of the patients and more job satisfaction for the participants.