Chaplains interview with Dr. Kim Nimon.
Article Type: Interview
Subject: Universities and colleges (United States)
Universities and colleges (Officials and employees)
Pub Date: 06/22/2009
Publication: Name: Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association Publisher: American Psychotherapy Association Audience: Academic; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 American Psychotherapy Association ISSN: 1535-4075
Issue: Date: Summer, 2009 Source Volume: 12 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 540 Executive changes & profiles
Product: Product Code: 8220000 Colleges & Universities NAICS Code: 61131 Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools SIC Code: 8221 Colleges and universities
Organization: Organization: University of North Texas
Persons: Named Person: Nimon, Kim
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 218313995
Full Text: [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Can you briefly describe your background and involvement in the area of chaplaincy?

I am an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas, where the main [tenet] of my research agenda focuses on improving human performance through the practice of workplace spirituality. I became aware of corporate chaplaincy programs during my doctoral studies and began researching how they fit within the larger context of workplace spirituality. My research on workplace chaplains has been published by the Journal of Management, Spirituality, & Religion and the International Society for Performance Improvement.

You've published articles on corporate chaplaincy. What exactly does that term entail?

The role of a corporate chaplain (or corporate chaplaincy program) may differ according to the provider. However, most providers would agree with the functions identified by the National Institute of Business and Industrial Chaplains (NIBIC). As stated in Nimon, Philibert, and Allen (2008), "The NIBIC (2008) states that industrial chaplains provide ecumenical counseling to people in business, respond to work-life concerns, problem-solve, and research out with concern to all people within the boundaries of cooperative business" (p. 237). In short, corporate chaplains provide employee care, primarily helping individuals deal with psychological issues and relational matters.

In this time of economic distress, will chaplaincy in corporate environments be cut?

In response to this question, I met with the corporate chaplaincy provider I researched for the Nimon, Philibert, and Allen (2008) article. In some cases, companies are cutting their corporate chaplaincy programs. However, for the provider I interviewed, they are retaining most of their existing business and gaining more new clients than losing old clients. They also shared with me an outcome you might find interesting regarding one of their clients who filed for bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy court deemed the corporate chaplaincy program as an essential employee benefit and, as such, did not cut the program.

Has there been an increase in the need for chaplains in recent years? What do you envision for the future of chaplaincy?

The demand for workplace chaplains continues to be on an upward trend. Over time, I expect to see this trend migrate to other countries. The chaplain provider I interviewed is currently extending their service offerings to Mexico, Canada, and the United Kingdom. As our economy continues to become more multi-national, I expect the trend to continue. Additionally, we may see international workplace chaplains network together so that they support clients outside of their local geographical area.

What can chaplains do to increase their skill level and knowledge in the field?

As with most professions, continued relevant education is paramount. For example, in today's economy, throughout all organizational levels, layoffs are becoming commonplace. Survivor's guilt is now becoming a new workplace concern that corporate chaplains must know how to address.

Nimon to Begin New Chaplain's Column

In support of our Academy of Certified Chaplains. we are pleased to announce that, beginning in the Summer" 2009 issue, Dr: Kim Nimon will host a regular column devoted to Chaplain Ministries. The purpose of her column is to consider issues chaplains face when providing spiritual, emotional, and mental guidance across segments of our" society including hospitals, police departments, military, and the workplace. She will also highlight best practices and bring forward news from current research.

Observing the ramifications of unsoulful work practices in the telecommunications industry, Kim began researching the topic of workplace spirituality and its relationship to organizational performance, group dynamics, and employee commitment. Her research has been published in leading field journals and presented at numerous conferences. Dr. Nimon recently completed a nationwide study on the activities of workplace chaplaincy programs.

We are delighted to have Dr. Nimon join our community. To communicate with her directly. you can e-mail her at kim.nimon@gmail.com. Also look for her to host a blog in the future where chaplains can develop communities of practice, identifying and responding to issues they face in the," daily work.

Reference

Nimon, K., Philibert, N., & Alien, J. (2008). Corporate chaplaincy programs: An exploratory study relates corporate chaplain activities to employee assistance programs. Journal of Management, Spirituality, & Religion, (5), 231-263.
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