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University Chaplaincy Appointment and Practice Procedure

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Section 1 - Introduction

(1) The purpose of this procedure is to provide a framework of principles to guide the appointment and work of Chaplains. The procedures described in this document are flexible and relate to the operations and use of the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service and presence of diverse religious groups on campus. For the purposes of this procedure, a Chaplain is considered to be a person who has been recognised by their denomination to provide personal, intellectual, social and spiritual guidance.

(2) The purpose of a University Chaplain appointment acknowledges that the University of Newcastle is a community which reflects the personal, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of life. In this context, the University offers students and staff the opportunity to seek the assistance of Chaplains from a range of faith communities.

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Section 2 - Intent

(3) The provisions of this document relate to the appointment and work of all University Chaplains.

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Section 3 - Instructions

Intake

(4) Chaplaincy roles will not be advertised. Suitable applicants may be identified if:

  1. an Expression of Interest is called because a need has been identified by the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service Coordinator, the Academic Registrar or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic); and/or
  2. the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service, the Academic Registrar or the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) is approached by religious denomination and/or faith community who wishes to nominate a member of that denomination or faith community for a Chaplaincy appointment.

Recommendations and Approval

(5) An application will comprise:

  1. a curriculum vitae outlining the individual’s relevant background and experience
  2. letter of support/endorsement from an appropriate representative from the Governing Body of the individual’s Faith Community
  3. supporting references
  4. Working With Children Clearance number.

(6) The required documentation is to be provided by the applicant to the Coordinator, University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service and the Assistant Director, Student Equity and Support, and the Academic Registrar, who will then make a recommendation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) for consideration and determination.

Appointment Duration

(7) The initial appointment will be for one year from date of commencement. At the conclusion of this twelve month period, there shall be a review by the Coordinator, University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service, and the Assistant Director, Student Equity and Support and the Academic Registrar, the outcome of which will determine a subsequent three-year appointment, with further three-year extensions available on review.

(8) Termination of a Chaplain's appointment may be determined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) on advice from the Academic Registrar.

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Section 4 - Roles and Responsibilities

(9) The role of Chaplains will differ according to the particular traditions and customs of each religious body.

(10) Chaplains are expected to be:

  1. recognised by their own faith community as members in good standing, with relevant experience and competence to fulfil the role of Chaplain, with the ability to relate their faith to the special needs of the University environment;
  2. tertiary graduates;
  3. capable of exercising initiative in establishing relationships with the members of the University community; and
  4. willing to serve with other University Chaplains on a team that is inclusive and incorporates diverse faith communities.

(11) Chaplains are expected to:

  1. attend a minimum of six monthly Chaplaincy team meetings during the calendar year;
  2. attend a minimum of half the number of annual regional Chaplaincy training days;
  3. be present on campuses for a minimum of six hours per week during each academic semester, with at least two hours per week committed to being present in the University's Chaplaincy Service; and
  4. be available for specific University functions and activities where appropriate, including commencement functions, graduation ceremonies and institutional committees.

(12) There shall be a University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service Committee (CSC) composed of all the Chaplains officially recognised by the University. Each year the CSC will elect a Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator.

(13) The Coordinator of the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service will :

  1. coordinate the administrative work of the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service;
  2. foster a spirit of equity, diversity and inclusiveness;
  3. regularly liaise with, and report to, the Assistant Director, Student Equity and Support; and
  4. convene and Chair the CSC.

(14) The University shall provide appropriate office and meeting space that will be shared amongst all faiths represented by the University of Newcastle Chaplaincy Service.

Reporting

(15) Chaplains are a recognised unit within the University and will report monthly to the University, through the Coordinator via Assistant Director, Student Equity and Support.

(16) The Coordinator will annually provide a formal report to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).