An ACPE Academy Webinar

Spiritual Care of the Nonreligious    
Presenter(s): Mary Martha Thiel
Presented on: February 3, 2016

Click here to watch the webinar recording
Click here for the PowerPoint slides 
For an article about this topic, please click here: Spiritual Care of the Nonreligious

Webinar Description:

Professional chaplains need education and humility to provide skillful and sensitive spiritual support to the growing numbers of nonreligious persons – the so-called “spiritual but not religious,” unaffiliated, agnostics, and atheists – in their institutions.  Training should encourage increased awareness of why persons are nonreligious, a clear understanding of the chaplain’s role as a caregiver of all, inclusive assessment tools, and an enlarged toolkit of spiritual care interventions.  Because professional chaplains are often socialized and trained in religious settings, the spiritual care of nonreligious persons requires intentional cultural humility.


Rev. Mary Martha Thiel is Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at Hebrew SeniorLife/Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. She is an ordained United Church of Christ minister, Board Certified Chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains, and a CPE Supervisor in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. She began her career at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx NY, a palliative care hospital for persons with advanced cancer, and served for many years in leadership of the Chaplaincy at Massachusetts General Hospital. She loves the creativity of CPE, and in addition to starting the unique Jewish Geriatric program at HSL/HRC, helped to create a groundbreaking CPE program for teaching healthcare professionals how to integrate spiritual caregiving into the practice of their own disciplines. She lives in Brookline, and enjoys being part of an interfaith Daughters of Abraham book group. You may contact her at

ACPE Academy 

The ACPE Academy is an interactive, online resource designed to support the professional development of ACPE Supervisors and students. Webinars, static videos, and discussion materials are developed and collated as a benefit for all ACPE members.

To recommend future content or for questions/comments about current offerings, please contact Marc Medwed, Program Manager.