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University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service Policy

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The University of Newcastle (University) is a diverse community which reflects the personal, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of life. In this context, the University offers student and staff the opportunity to seek the assistance of Chaplains from a range of faith communities. 

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This Policy provides a framework of principles for the appointment and work of University Chaplains.

(3) For the purposes of this Policy, a Chaplain is a person who has been recognised by their religious group to provide personal, intellectual, social, and spiritual guidance. Chaplains are not employees of the University. They are nominated by their employing organisation to provide a service to the University and its community within the provisions of this Policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) The principles described in this document relate to the operations and use of the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service and presence of diverse religious groups on campus. The service is available to all staff and students of the University.

(5) This Policy is supported by the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Appointment and Practice Procedure which must be read in conjunction with this document.

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Section 4 - Principles

(6) The University will accept nominations of Chaplains from organisations which have formally been declared religious denominations in accordance with the provision of s.26 of the Marriage Act 1961 (C’th) (as amended). 

(7) Chaplains nominated by such organisations may be appointed on the basis of an initial appointment period, followed by a review and consideration of a further two year appointment, as set out in Section 3 Clause (7) of the University Chaplaincy Appointment and Practice Procedure.

(8) The University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service will uphold a commitment to equity and will maintain a balanced representation of diverse faith communities in its composition.

(9) Chaplains are required to comply with the provisions of this Policy and its associated procedure, and be familiar, supportive of and compliant with other relevant University policies, including but not limited to the Staff Code of Conduct, Ethical FrameworkWorkplace Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination Policy, Media Policy, and the Privacy Management Plan.

(10) Chaplains will recognise our pluralist society and its divergent religious beliefs. As such, Chaplains will uphold and deliver a cooperative and pluralistic approach, and will actively maintain respect of all religious beliefs.

(11) Chaplains will not proselytise but will work in a wider spiritual and religious context.

(12) The University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service and its Chaplains will be available to, and inclusive of, all people who seek their counsel, guidance and support, regardless of religious faith. Any Chaplain in the team may interact with students and staff in relation to their general pastoral or personal needs.

(13) The Chaplaincy Service is a recognised unit within the University and will report to Associate Director, Student Wellbeing through the Coordinator, University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service.