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History and Vision

The Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital continues to carry on a tradition of spiritual care that began with the Visiting Clergy Service.

  • The first full-time paid director was the Rev. Harry Price (1956-1963), a Methodist minister. The Rev. Clyde Shallenberger (1963-1993), a Church of the Brethren minister, succeeded Rev. Price, providing leadership in the creation of the Hospital's Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. Upon his retirement the hospital named a yearly lectureship in medical ethics in his honor, which Rev. and Mrs. Shallenberger attended, until his death in December 2020.

  • The Rev. Stephen Mann, a Presbyterian minister, served as Director of Pastoral Care from 1996-2004. Under his leadership, the Clinical Pastoral Education Program was founded and the department added its first oncology chaplain.  The Rev. Paula Teague, D.Min., a certified ACPE Supervisor and Society of Friends (Quaker) minister, was appointed as the first manager of Clinical Pastoral Education in 2002.  Under Dr. Teague’s interim directorship in 2005, the Rev. Rhonda Cooper, a United Methodist minister, was recruited to become the chaplain in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.  Rev. Dr. Teague, in collaboration with the Harry J. Duffey Family Patient and Family Services Program in the Kimmel Cancer Center, recruited Chaplain Moira Bucciarelli in 2021 to develop and extend chaplaincy support in the Oncology Ambulatory Setting.  Chaplain Bucciarelli serves oncology outpatients and staff in four locations:  The Weinberg and Viragh Buildings on the East Baltimore Campus, Green Spring clinics in Lutherville and the Bayview Medical Center campus.   

  • The Rev. Uwe Scharf, PhD, a certified ACPE Supervisor and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) minister, served as the Director of Pastoral Care from 2006-2011.  Under his leadership, the department staff and the Clinical Pastoral Education program was expanded.  In 2006,  the Rev. John Ponnala, a Lutheran minister, and the Rev. Yollande Mavund, a United Methodist minister, joined the team as Family Advocate Chaplains in a cooperative effort with the Hopkins Department of Surgery.  Rev. Mavund returned to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2011 and went on to become the Africa Regional Representative for Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church.  The Rev. Ponnala now serves as the Chaplain Coordinator of Family Advocacy for the hospital.

  • In 2009, Thomas (Ty) Crowe, II, a certified ACPE Supervisor and Teacher in the Shadhiliyya Sufi Order, joined the Johns Hopkins staff as a Manager of Clinical Pastoral Education and since 2012 has served as Director of the Department.  Under his leadership, the Rev. Matt Norvell was hired as the first pediatric chaplain in 2013, and serves the needs of the patients, family members and staff of the Children's Center.  The Rev. Kat Kowalski was recruited to serve as the chaplain for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Perinatal Palliative Care Program in 2017. The Rev. Christopher V. Brown joined the team in 2014, and was the Director of the Academic Division of the Clinical Pastoral Education program for Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center until 2019, while the Rev. Tamekia A. Milton, ACPE Certified Associate Educator, was recruited by Johns Hopkins Hospital in 2018 and serves as the Program Manager of the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at Johns Hopkins.

    In 2014, Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center became the integrated Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy for Johns Hopkins Medicine Academic Division. With that integration, Dr. Paula Teague assumed the position of Senior Director of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy.

    two priests

    The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Episcopal Diocese of Maryland historically have supported the hospital’s mission to provide spiritual support to those in need.  The Rev. Paul Sparklin (on the right), in concert with a cadre of volunteers, provided spiritual care and sacramental ministry for the Catholic patients at JHH for seven years before being appointed to a local parish in 2012.  At present, Fr. Patrick Besel serves as the Catholic Chaplain.

    The Rev. William R. Bell, Jr. (on the left in the photograph), an Episcopal priest who served the hospital community during 2009-2011, provided spiritual care to many of the Episcopal patients as well as others throughout the hospital.  He was followed by the Rev. Thomas Rogers, who also completed the process to become an ACPE, Inc., supervisor.  A brief history of the Episcopal Chaplaincy at JHH may be requested of the current Episcopal Chaplain, the Rev. Joshua Rodriguez-Hobbs, who is also a CPE certified educator candidate.

  • Rabbi Naftali Rabinowitz succeeded Dr. Tsvi G. Schur as the Jewish Chaplain, after Rabbi Schur's retirement in 2021.  Rabbi Rabinowitz provides ministry to Jewish patients and their family members throughout the hospital as well as consulting with staff and chaplain colleagues.  Adjunct Chaplains provide spiritual care and religious support on request or by referral.  These include Imam Hassan Amin (Muslim) and the members of the Hospital Liaison Committee for the Jehovah Witness faith community, including John Johnson and Chris Dillman.


Each year, the Johns Hopkins Medicine Academic Division Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy puts together an annual report to inform and highlight our work. Please find links to those reports below.

Mission of Johns Hopkins Spiritual Care & Chaplaincy

  • The Department of Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy staff and volunteers, as part of a multi-disciplinary team, seek to provide excellent and effective care to all persons through every activity and service provided by this department.  The practice of effective chaplaincy, by its attention to the spiritual needs and resources of each individual, participates in the comforting and loving activity of God in order to promote the restoration of health and wholeness.

    The purpose of spiritual care and chaplain support is to enable you to utilize the spiritual resources of your faith and traditions as you seek healing.  Your faith may give you a foundation from which you can find order in the midst of chaos, hope in the midst of despair.

    The provision of spiritual care services is ecumenical and interfaith and respectful of your religious and spiritual preferences as well as your right to accept or decline services. 

    • To provide excellent and effective spiritual care and chaplaincy support which attends to the spiritual needs of the patients, their families, staff and personnel of The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
    • To provide opportunities for the discussion of the religious, spiritual and ethical dimensions of health care for clergy, health care professionals and interested laity.
    • To engage in partnership with the religious community in Baltimore to promote health and wholeness.

William S. Perper Faith-Health Symposium

The Perper Foundation has generously provided funding over ten years for the William S. Perper Healthy Community Partnership National Symposium. The annual symposium honors William “Bill” Perper’s legacy to helping those less fortunate by engaging partnerships between hospitals and faith communities that have the potential to address many of today’s greatest health care challenges.

Through a commitment to his faith community at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, Mr. Perper understood the power and engagement of clergy to improve health and chronic disease management in vulnerable populations nationwide. Building healthy communities through medical religious partnerships, was an area of interest for him, as he believed that people needed to become actively involved in their own health care and overall fitness for a better quality of life. A series of annual symposia have been held in concert with Johns Hopkins Bayview faculty and staff, to which the community is invited. Please check the webpage for symposium information.

The 9th Annual William S. Perper Faith-Health Symposium, Understanding Addiction: A Community Approach to Healing, was a free virtual series for individuals who are concerned about the current substance use crisis in our country, and for those who are personally facing the challenges of substance use disorders.

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