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Deepening a Sense of Spirit: A Study of Spiritual Care Volunteers in the Rural Clinical Setting Open Access


Other title
Spiritual care
connection to God
spiritual formation
rural hospital, hospice, long-term care
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Linda Joan Ormson
Supervisor and department
Dr. Katrina M. Klawe
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Nancy Goddard
Rev. Dr. Fran Hare
Rev. Dr. Geoff Wilfong-Pritchard
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Ministry
Degree level
This study has explored the concept of how one’s sense of spirit has deepened by providing spiritual care to patients and residents in a rural hospital, hospice and long term care facilities. Using an organic inquiry method of research, the researcher’s story begins this study from her passion of wanting to explore “how by helping others,” one’s spiritual life can be transformed. The researcher is a Chaplain for a 100 bed hospital in rural southern Alberta. Eight spiritual care volunteers took a spiritual care training program and then worked in spiritual care for a minimum of 12 weeks visiting patients and residents. These spiritual care providers volunteered to be interviewed for this study. From the interviews five themes emerged from the data to reveal how these participants of the study have had their sense of spirit deepen. These themes are: increased prayer life, closer connection to God, increased self-confidence, improved relationships with others, more gratitude and less-judging behaviours. The sub-theme of time was also a pattern which emerged from the data. Direct quotes from the participants are used throughout the interviews to substantiate the claim of transformation by the research participants. This study will add to the body of knowledge on spiritual formation and help fill the gap in understanding how people of faith can deepen their sense of spirit by caring for other people in need.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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