Chaplain’s Association (ANZTCA) in the provision of Chaplaincy to Tertiary Educational Institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Chaplain : person appointed by and accountable to a recognised church or Faith Community Board, Chaplaincy Committee, Educational Institution Student Services Department; who provides (Christian) ministry and pastoral care to the students and staff of a Tertiary Institution.
Chaplaincy : used here to mean the work of a Chaplain
Host Institution : the Tertiary Campus / Institution where Chaplaincy is carried out.

1 | Preamble

1.1 This Code of Ethical Practice has been formulated and endorsed by the Aotearoa New Zealand Tertiary Chaplain’s Association to ensure that the potential benefits in the provision of Chaplains in Tertiary Educational Institutions are fully realised for both students and staff, and for the host Institution.

1.2This Code of Ethical Practice has been developed in accordance with Articles 2 & 3 of the Constitution of the ANZTCA.

1.3 The offering of a Chaplain(s) to a host Institution brings with it the ethical commitment that the conduct of such Chaplain(s) will at all times adhere both to the Code of Conduct of the host Institution and to this Code of Ethical Practice of the ANZTCA. This is in addition to any Code of Conduct a sponsoring Board or agency may have; and recognises that to work in a host Institution and to be a member of ANZTCA, the Chaplain(s) and their sponsoring Board / Agency agree to such a commitment.

1.4 The broad principles of this Code of Ethical Practice should apply to all such persons who may assist Chaplain(s) in their duties within their host Institution.

1.5 ANZTCA believes it is essential that all Boards and Agencies providing persons to work as Chaplains, or as part of Chaplaincy teams, make a conscious commitment to this Code of Ethical Practice and adopt procedures consistent with it when defining the duties of their staff.

1.6 A list of all Boards and Agencies which have agreed to abide by this Code of Ethical practice will be maintained by the ANZTCA Executive committee.

1.7 All members of ANZTCA agree, by their current membership, to abide by this Code of Ethical Practice.

1.8 Clause 1.6 notwithstanding, the ANZTCA recognises that as its membership is voluntary it cannot guarantee or compel compliance with this Code of Ethical Practice. Therefore, ANZTCA cannot accept liability for the actions of individual Chaplains where they may be in breach of this Code

1.9 ANZTCA may, from time to time, establish sub-committees of the AGM to :

  • ensure new members are aware of the provisions of this Code
  • review and recommend, where necessary, amendments to this Code
  • advise Boards or Agencies on developing Job Descriptions consistent with this Code
  • assist Boards and Agencies with Institution liaison where needed


2 | The Code

2.1 General Statement of Intent
As Boards, Agencies, Chaplains we:

2.1.1 believe in the dignity and worth of the individual human being, recognising the sacredness of one’s self, and that of others.

2.1.2 believe in the importance of communal identity and acknowledge the connection between this and an individual’s sense of self

2.1.3 are committed to increasing understanding of ourselves and others in working towards emotional, behavioural, and spiritual maturity which recognises our personal roots and respect for all God’s creation

2.2 Regarding Students and Staff
As Boards, Agencies, Chaplains we will :

2.2.1 respect the student’s / staff’s right to privacy and preserve the confidentiality of information obtained in the course of Chaplaincy. Confidential information should only be shared with the informed consent of the student / staff unless there is a clear danger to his / her life, to others, or to the public at large.

2.2.2 recognise the dignity of the person and avoid discrimination against students / staff on the basis of their health, disability, ethnic origin/race/culture, gender, sexual orientation, age, family status, marital status, religious/ethical beliefs, social class, academic abilities, faith expression, political persuasion, position / status in the Institution

2.2.3 deal truthfully and with integrity with students / staff and provide adequate information about the nature of their chaplaincy / pastoral care relationship (with us) and our ways of working – encouraging them to pursue their own spiritual beliefs

2.2.4 not abuse our position by taking advantage of students / staff for the purposes of personal, professional, political, financial, spiritual, sexual gain

2.2.5 acknowledge the limits of our own competence and refer students / staff to other services / agencies / persons when this proves necessary or desirable

2.2.6 seek to have a good knowledge of the courses and procedures of the host Institution and to know how to make this available to students / staff

2.2.7 seek to provide students / staff with accurate, unambiguous and comprehensive information on events, programmes, courses, and activities run in the course of Chaplaincy

2.2.8 terminate our service to students / staff in a suitably professional manner when either party decides it is no longer required, nor in the student’s / staff’s best interest to continue

2.3 Regarding Colleagues
As Chaplains we will :

2.3.1 treat them with respect, courtesy, fairness, and good faith

2.3.2 respect the theological diversity and adherence to other ‘faith communities’ of those in the Chaplaincy Team

2.3.3 promote co-operation with colleagues in their professional therapeutic services

2.3.4 respect confidences shared in respect to themselves or to students / staff

2.3.5 seek mediation or arbitration, through appropriate channels, when important conflicts arise which may diminish the quality of Chaplaincy services being offered

2.4 Regarding Ourselves
As Chaplains we will :

2.4.1 undertake regular supervision with a qualified Supervisor

2.4.2 seek opportunities for personal / professional development

3 | Guidelines

3.1.1 before offering Chaplaincy in any Institution, a sponsoring Board or Agency should have a clearly enunciated policy with respect to :

  • appointment procedures
  • the role of the intended appointment
  • review procedures of any appointment
  • withdrawing an appointment
  • matching the expectations of the host Institution with this Code of Ethical Practice of the ANZTCA

3.1.2 respective Chaplaincies should be promoted accurately and honestly in terms of quality, standing and availability

3.1.3 Boards, Agencies, and individual Chaplains should clearly communicate with host Institutions whether they are compliant with this ANZTCA Code of Ethical Practice should be clearly communicated to host Institutions

3.1.4 it will be the responsibility of the employing / sponsoring Board, Agency, Institution – and not that of the ANZTCA – to monitor individual Chaplains in their adherence to this Code of Ethical Practice