An exploration of the role and training needs of hockey chaplains
LE3 .A278 2016
Janzen, Carol Anne
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
The history of the relationship between sports and Christianity goes back to the early church where leaders were faced with the issue of sports’ rising popularity, and whether the church would embrace or oppose. The rise of sports ministries was one step in the process of sports acceptance by the church as a conduit for proclamation and evangelism. Sports chaplains were established on teams across a variety of sports acting as spiritual care-givers and an emotional resource for athletes and other team personnel. The concept of sports chaplains has biblical and theological support. Jesus’ parable of the “Good Samaritan” provides the directive to go to the hurting and needy to care for people with Christ’s love . Hockey chaplains encounter the many broken and wounded along the road of the hockey arena and are in place to tend to their needs. Paul’s address to the Areopagus takes place in a culture steeped in pluralism. Such a setting exists today. Here Paul provides the example of how chaplains can communicate the “Good News” of Jesus Christ to a pluralistic culture, drawing from common ground in proclaiming the message of Christ. The kingdom of God, a central theme in the ministry of Jesus, is to be lived out in the everyday and the ordinary of life. Chaplains are called to make the invisible kingdom visible in the arena. A survey/questionnaire was developed to draw from the experiences, insights and observations of existing chaplains across the QMJHL. The results provided a glimpse into the world of the hockey chaplain, receiving feedback concerning their role and responsibilities while identifying needs concerning further training and equipping. The life of a hockey chaplain requires a sacrificial commitment to making oneself available for God to use in the hockey arena. It is a life of prayer, of service, and of risk-taking as chaplains connect and engage with people. In doing so, chaplains need to be further equipped for the role and the call to go and serve in the hockey world.
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.