Workplace Chaplaincy – The Rise, The Needs, and Its Path for Development in Hong Kong by Augustine Chow

Workplace Chaplaincy - It Rise, Needs and Development

Workplace Chaplaincy The Rise, The Needs, and Its Path for Development in Hong Kong

Augustine Chow

This article is about Workplace Chaplaincy Development in Hong Kong.  It traces the roots, the needs, and the development path of workplace chaplaincy ministry.

Download Full Article Here:  Augustine Chow Workplace Chaplaincy – The Rise, The Needs, and Its Path for Development in Hong Kong 2022

Workplace Chaplaincy - It Rise, Needs and Development

Workplace Chaplaincy

Workplace chaplaincy is a form of pastoral care provided by clergies or trained laypersons paid by companies, professional associations, or ecclesial institutions to serve employees’ personal and spiritual needs at their job sites (Jablonowski and Jansen 2000; Seales 2012).[1]  It has a long history rooted in military and healthcare services.  Today, chaplaincy can also be found at schools, police, universities, fire stations, airports, business corporations, unions, prisons, and correctional services. (Winterbottom 2011)[2]

If you put the title search  “Workplace Chaplaincy” in Google Scholar, you will find more than 6,940 entries since 2018.  The subject has been most rigorously researched in the past last five years.

Why is it popular?  What exactly does a workplace chaplain do?  Is workplace chaplaincy gaining popularity in Hong Kong?  Should it be developed into a professional service in Hong Kong?  Why or why not?

In this paper, the author will explore the rise of workplace chaplaincy in the western Christian context; the underlying market needs leading to its popularity, and assess its path for professional development in Hong Kong.

The Rise

The rise of workplace chaplaincy can be traced back to the western Christian world over the 18th century.  Luther and Calvin regarded vocation as a calling into the everyday world. Work was seen as an activity by which Christians should deepen their faith, leading to a new quality of commitment to God.

The Industrial Revolution beginning in Great Britain between 1820 and 1840, marked the transition from hand production to machine production by steam and waterpower. During the Industrial Revolution, caring priests from Catholic churches were sent to the factories to pursue the religious and moral life of the workers.  Among them, some were more supportive of socialism development.

“Political conditions, such as the rejecting attitude of the church towards socialism and the critical relationship of the church with the working class, are significant in historical depictions of the German-speaking area. This becomes evident in the term “red chaplains,” which indicates possible affection to socialism by priests, especially those who took on workplace chaplaincy.”  (Wolf 2018)

The economic recession in the 1930s also gave rise to caring businesspeople for the working class.  In America, protestant businesspeople consecutively assembled the workers in the town hall for weeks to share gospels in Chicago.  The movement resumed after the Second World War, which later developed into the international movement of CBMC (Connecting Businessmen in Marketplace to Christ), a forerunner in marketplace ministry in 80 major cities across the globe.

The results of companies’ downsizing, buyouts, mergers, environmental pollution, or restructuring in the 21st century boosted American workplace chaplains with a unique approach to workplace spirituality (Wolf 2018).

Workers have become demoralized, alienated, and unable to cope with the compartmentalized nature of their work and non-work lives. The community structures are given to employees that formerly provided them with a source of meaning but are now viewed by some as less relevant. To achieve purpose in life (and therefore in the individual’s working life), it seems necessary for organizations to introduce spirituality into the workplace. The modern organization faces employee-related problems such as stress-related illnesses, burnout, absenteeism, violence, and corruption. These work-related problems are characteristic of organizations where spirituality is absent. There is a widespread belief that for 21st-century organizations to survive, their leaders and employees must tap into their spiritual resources (Marschke et al., 2011). [3]

Corporate chaplains paid by corporations and factories were hired as facilitators of sense-making for spirituality in workplaces (McKee, Mills, and Driscoll 2008; Miller and Ngunjiri 2015). The presence of a chaplain can be a sign of aims in the company that goes beyond the common purpose of production, services, and related profits.

Business workplace chaplaincy in those times emphasized the possibilities of increasing the performance, results, and efficiency of the organization and its employees (Bell 2008; Fry and Slocum 2008). Today corporate workplace spirituality is linked to “corporate social responsibility” towards employees.

  • “Professional chaplains serving in the tobacco and food processing industries and with automakers, pipe fabricators, tool manufacturers, die makers, and several other private corporations.…. The chaplain’s role is to do a clinical assessment of the client’s emotional and spiritual states, conduct stress and pain management classes, and perform pastoral counseling.” (The Greatest Story Never Told 1996)[4]
  • “Corporate chaplaincy has grown in popularity; it has evolved into three main streams of practice. The stream closely allied with the employee assistance movement comprises clinically trained clergy, most commonly with a Master of Divinity degree and often with other advanced degrees, clinical pastoral education, or other supervision. In addition, many of these clergy hold mental health licenses and have earned credentials in critical incident stress management, mediation, and outplacement.” (Dale, Three Streams of Corporate Chaplaincy 2001)[5]

Workplace chaplaincy is differently organized in these countries depending on their culture and church structures (Elwyn 1996). The following models (Figure 1) are recognizable.

In the UK, chaplaincy has been historically provided for free because it was seen as a mission of the church.  However, some groups are also financed by donations from companies or contracts with local employers who pay fees for their services. Nevertheless, workplace chaplaincy is a form of social commitment of churches (Workplace Chaplaincy Mission UK 2016).

Figure 1:  Different Models of Workplace Chaplaincy are recognized in different countries.

Source:  Wolf 2018

Is the western workplace chaplaincy development relevant and adaptive to Hong Kong?   In this second part of the paper, we shall examine the history of workplace ministry development in Hong Kong, the research findings for workplace chaplaincy in Hong Kong, its present ministry structure, and then explore the prospects of workplace chaplaincy becoming a needed profession in Hong Kong.


The Rise of Hong Kong Workplace Ministries

Workplace Chaplains

Change of Hong Kong Workplace Structure

In the 60s and 70s, Hong Kong emerged from a small village to a trading port with rising legal and illegal immigrants from China due to the Cultural Revolutions in China.  Starting from 1978, when Prime Minister Den of China announced its Open Door and Open Revolutions, Hong Kong became an international business hub for local and foreign investment to come into China.  Local businesses and local businesspeople became the pioneers in the China trade and direct investment in Chinese companies in China.  Due to China’s early corruption in the early day, corruption also tempted the Christians working in the marketplace.  The “sacred-secular divide” dilemma evolved from that: business Christians in Hong Kong were sacred Christians at churches on Sundays, but unethical business conduct became the norm in doing business with China outside the church.

Sacred-Secular Dilemma

To cope with such a dilemma, churches in Hong Kong formed business fellowship groups within the church.  Dedicated pastors were assigned to minister to this group so that the fellowship members could share their business discomfort and seek help from the other fellows in the group.  Ethical business making in Christianity was advocated.  For those business Christians who could not join Sunday church services, para churches began to offer weekdays fellowship gatherings during workdays, and chaplains were sent to minister to them in their offices and factories in China.,

“The Church of Christ in China, Wan Chai Branch, is one of the oldest Protestant denominations. In the past few years, the church has conducted marketplace ministries (MM) to integrate elements of MM into their existing ministries, such as career talks, financial management, and business ethics. They conducted a focus group study to gauge their expectations of MM and market research to discover congregants’ expectations of MM to offer the right programs. Some of these programs included mentorship and industry group forums.” (Li Soo Fung 2020)[6]

Vocational calling in the Workplace

Following the development of workplace fellowship groups and faith-work integration advocacy in Hong Kong, Christians in the workplace began to ask what the purpose and meaning of work were.  Paul Stephen’s “Seven Days of Faith” (2001) and “Doing God’s Business: Meaning and Motivation for the Workplace.” (2006) became their subjects for studies on the purposes and meaning of work.

Professor Philip Yeung of the China Graduate School of Theology, advocating the vocational calling from Theology of Creation, offered the divine vocational callings as the answer to the quests of the Christians in business on the purpose and meaning of work.  The China Graduate School of Theology has also provided a master’s program in marketplace theology and ministry for Christians in the workplace since 2000.  Many of the graduates now became leaders in the workplace fellowship groups. The Christian leaders led many new industry-wide fellowship groups by themselves or with the support of para churches in Hong Kong.

ParaChurch Roles in Workplace Ministries in Hong Kong

The workplace ministry development received strong support from the para churches and industries newly set up for marketplace ministry.  A few names are worth mentioning.

HKPES, Hong Kong Professional Education Services Ltd, established in 1991 by a group of believers engaged in education and business, has served as a platform for shepherding working believers. Vocation search and career planning, faithfulness to the Bible, and theology help believers practice Christianity in real situations and respond to workplace challenges.

For more than a decade, HKPES has been committed to workplace ministry, cooperating with universities, seminaries, and other institutions, holding seminars, retreats, and academic conferences, promoting research, publishing, and providing career counseling, with the goal of building believers in the workplace, and serve the churches in Hong Kong.

The Central-Gospel Mission, which aims to promote the vision and mission of workplace evangelism and pastoral care, to contact local churches to shepherd believers in the workplace, practice their faith in the workplace, and witness Christ to the working people, is another active change agent of workplace ministries in Hong Kong.

Partnering with local churches, the Central-Gospel Mission has been a partnering force in organizing business lunch gatherings in the workplace in different districts, facilitating, managing business workplace fellowship groups in various industries, training leaders in the ministry, and engaging in campus evangelistic activities for other campuses.  It was reported by Simon Ho, the Ex-Chief Officer of the Central-Gospel Mission group, that before the pandemic, they had helped organize more than 400 workplace fellowship groups in private business corporations and across all industries in Hong Kong.

The Oaks Ltd is another parachurch established in 2000 to empower small and medium-sized enterprises to do business with their mission, reshape business culture, renew their thinking, reform management, transform lives, and promote believers to practice Christianity in a business environment as a witness of the grace and justice of Christ, and share blessings.  Over the years, they have reinforced faith in the workplace for SME business owners in Hong Kong.

The Doulos Ministry Center Ltd was established some 17 years ago in Hong Kong by a missionary from Taiwan.  Since then, the institute has been training bi-vocational pastors/ missionaries[7] for the marketplace in Hong Kong.  Modeled by Jesus, in-job Christians from all walks of life were recruited to join the Daniel School, wherein three years, they will be trained to be workplace ministry leaders to start their workplace ministry groups in their organization.  Serving as missionaries in the marketplace, they have trained over 700 leaders with a strong desire and commitment to the workplace.

Types of Workplace Ministries in Hong Kong

Through the years, four types of Christian workplace ministries emerged in Hong Kong, ministered by the following types of chaplains.

(1) those ministered by church pastors in the church for its workplace fellowship only.  An example is the marketplace fellowship groups in the Church of Christ in China (CCC) Wan Chai Church.

(2) those ministered by pastors sent by churches into workplace fellowship groups. An example is the AIA Insurance Group ministered by Rev Enoch Lam

(3) those sent by para churches to minister to a particular corporation or industry workplace fellowship group.  An example is The Oaks Ltd, which ministers to Small and medium-sized business owners in Hong Kong.

(4) Those ministered by laity leaders as chaplains who are corporation employees.  An example is the Christian fellowship group in Cheung Kong, a publicly listed company in Hong Kong.

The workplace fellowship groups typically conduct weekly or bi-weekly worship by members over lunchtime, hold seasonal evangelistic events, conduct bible study/prayer meetings, run nurture programs for the newly converted, conduct disciple-making training, and run care-for-community projects in support of the corporation’s social responsibility programs. Pastoral care to the members regarding their career difficulties or family problems is an add-on auxiliary service, not a regular service of the group leaders or chaplains, probably due to a lack of time and training.

By nature of the ministry model and sources of funding, they can be classified as follows:


Workplace Ministry Model Leading Organization Source Funding Example
1.  Vocational Chaplaincy Model A Church or Parachurch Self-funding or by church/parachurch The Police Followership, HK Fellowship of Evangelical Students (HKFES)
2. Bi-Vocational Chaplaincy Model Self-employed chaplain or Parachurch Self-funded or by parachurch HK Doulos Ministry Center
2. Church-based Chaplaincy Model Sent by churches Funded by church via offerings The CCC Wan Chai Church
3. Corporate Laity Chaplaincy Model Corporation, factory, or listed companies Funded by salary from the organization Cheung Kong Co Ltd, HK Solicitors Fellowship Group

Ministry Gaps Identified

Four pieces of research on the Christians in the workplace and the youth sector of Hong Kong indicated gaps in faith at work integration and Christian members’ spirituality at work.

PES Faith-Work Integration 2019[8]The PES survey on Christian Faith-work Behavior with over 1000 samples  in 2003, 2010, and 2018 revealed the following findings:

  • “Work for Survival” and “Work is a Responsibility” remained at the top of significant Factors for Choosing a Job. Work as a mission is not the reason for their work.


  • “Salary and treatment” remained the primary condition, “job nature,” “personal interest,” and “Meaning of work” took up the middle position, while “Knowing God ” reluctantly ranks at the bottom of the list, not even in the top five in 2010. The results reflect that faith is still a relatively secondary consideration for Hong Kong Christians when choosing a job.


  • The 2018 survey showed for the first time that as many as 40% of active believers believe that the church is not paying attention to their situation.


  • Their ages, education levels, and years of conversion did not matter with the tension between faith and reality.

Faith at Work Integration among Well-Educated Believers[9]: S.F. Li’s quantitative  research (2020) on the faith-work integration among the Well-educated working Christians of Hong Kong Baptist Church revealed that

  • The faith practiced at the workplace does not matter with age, education level, income, residential type, work behavior, or job satisfaction. It also showed no difference between churchgoers and church-leavers.


  • Although discipleship or prayer training had the highest correlation with faith maturity, it is alarming that attendance at church activities, namely Sunday Service, Sunday School, fellowship, or small group meetings and discipleship or praying training, did not contribute to work behavior and job satisfaction.


  • Faith-work integration at the workplace is more influenced by intrinsic religious commitment, prayers, intentional discipleship training, understanding of their vocational calling in work, and missional activities than other factors. The church and fellowship teaching has little to do with their spiritual growth.

Faith at Work (FAW) Integration among Christian in the Banking, Finance, and Insurance Individuals (BSFI): In another study, Carol Fung (2021)[10] reports the following phenomenon of FAW Manifestations

  • that the workplace fellowship takes place most effectively in middle-sized companies. The larger company size may split job processes into unit departments, the less chance to experience work meaning and calling.


  • BFSI Christians pursue faith through groups and fellowship rather than their work behavior. In business practice, They seldom talk about faith/religion/spirituality with people they work with. BFSI workers may not openly share their ethical concerns or argue for the corporate benefit to protect self-interest and avoid workplace conflict.


  • The fewer hours spent in church service, the higher the scores on “Expression Verbal” in the marketplace. The results suggest that an extraordinarily high percentage of those who receive preaching and gather within a church may not speak about their faith from Monday to Friday.


  • that non-churchgoers, de-churched and unchurched Christians had weaker manifestations in FAW. The fragile integrations indicate alternative opportunities for ministers and pastors to reach out and shepherd those outside church buildings.


  • There was a negative correlation between hours spent on marketplace fellowship outside churches and FAW integration. Marketplace ministers may need to pay attention to the context and teachings in fellowship groups to fill these gaps.


  • that higher integration was recorded in “Enrichment of Group” probably through the corporate social responsibility programs of the company than the individual enrichment.


The Bakke Qualitative Research on Spirituality of Youth In HK[11] (2022):

The most current qualitative research findings on Youth spiritual growth reinforced previous studies that church teaching has little impact on youth spiritual growth.   Six qualitative factors were found where youth indicated that they would help their spirituality grow. It is noted that factors 1, 2, 4, and 6 were impact factors outside the church’s influence or the Christian fellowship.  Peer influence and media influence are more important than church teaching and preaching.

 They identified six aspects to assess factors that will hinder the youths’ spiritual growth.  Factors 1, 2, 3, and 6 are outdoor attractions.  Factors 4 and 5 relate to spiritual teaching, discipleship, and direction from spiritual leaders in the church or the fellowship groups.

Concluding Ministry Gaps in our Workplace Ministry

Based on the findings of the above four independent studies, it can be concluded that faith at work among Christian, youth, or adults in the workplace in Hong Kong, is influenced more by their prayers, personal seeking of God, devotion, and commitment to social services, than from the teaching and fellowship currently enforced in the church and workplace fellowship groups. There have been noticeable gaps in pastoral care and spiritual direction for Christians in Hong Kong, both inside and outside the church folds.

 Widening Gaps in the Workplace

Such gaps are widening as churches are losing churchgoers.  According to the 2020 Hong Kong Annual Report and the 2019 Hong Kong Church Reform Ministry Survey, it is inferred that among the 800,000 people[12] who claim to be Protestant Christians, the number of people who believe in Jesus, having left the church and have not been able to return to the church is more than double the 300,000 people in the church circle.

In Hong Kong, there are 3.5 million people on the job, which is more than 14 times the number of Christian attending churches; their working time in the workplace (44.3 hours/week)[13] is more than 11 times the time they go to church (approximately 4 hours/week).[14] It is inferred from this that contacting, shepherding, and caring for believers in the workplace is necessary and much more effective.

 We refer to our previous illustration of the workplace ministry structure in Hong Kong. We estimate that over 400 workplace ministry groups are now ministered to by the churches in Hong Kong.  Let’s assume that there are 100 members on average in each group; then, we have an estimated 40,000 individuals now being ministered in the workplace, which is less than 1% of the workforce in Hong Kong, or less than 5% of the force the Christians in Hong Kong.  95% of the Christians in the workplace and 99% of the workforce in Hong Kong have not been ministered to.

Lack of Pastoral Care Training of Workplace Chaplains in Hong Kong

Currently, no industry standard training is required for chaplains before they take up pastoral roles in the workplace.  Chaplains sent by churches typically received B.D. or MDiv training, from which pastoral counseling is only a tiny part of the training.  More emphasis is on preaching and teaching.  Hospital chaplains typically receive Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), where the focus is on clinical pastoral care for patients in hospitals. Laity pastors in workplace fellowship usually receive biblical and theological training from their Diploma studies or Master in Christian Studies (MCS).   Perhaps, only a few had pursued coaching, counseling, workplace missionary training, clinical psychology, and psychotherapy before their ministry in the workplace as chaplains or leaders.

Worsened Gaps from Pandemic

The three years of a pandemic hitting churches and workplaces have worsened the situation.  Churches are temporarily closed; workers are sent to work at home.  While conducting worship services during COVID-19 presented a severe challenge for all the pastors, pastoral care was the aspect of pastoral ministry most disrupted by the pandemic. Ronald W. Pies (2020) recalled a four-fold assault on the Christian’s soul: feelings of impotence, grief, loneliness, and trust. [15]

Chaplains’ unique contribution to workplace Christians is to respond to the Christians’ spiritual, religious, and pastoral needs. Their sole purpose is to provide a presence and space to meet individual needs and promote healing, even when a cure isn’t possible. Their value is priceless to families in desperate times. However, despite growing evidence of their impact, chaplains are commonly undervalued and misunderstood by their organizations. The global pandemic revealed the consequences of this confusion. Some chaplains were applauded as heroes and fellow health colleagues; others were seen as less than an infection risk.

Unclear Chaplaincy Roles During Pandemics Around the Globe

A survey by Austyn Snowden (2021) [16] captured the full range of chaplain experiences of the impact of the pandemic across the globe. In June 2020, 1,657 chaplains responded from 36 countries. They all experienced considerable disruption to their usual practice, with the most significant impact of social distancing. Out of necessity, they embraced technology to maintain contact with patients and families and shifted the focus of their support to staff. While some chaplains were viewed as essential employees by their organizations, most were not. Despite the majority thinking that their organizations understood what they did, chaplains were neither transparent nor clear about their role during and post-pandemic. More surprisingly, they felt similarly unclear about their position before the pandemic.  In these circumstances, a professional body of the workplace chaplains will play an essential role in enforcing industry standards and practices among its members.

 How can Workplace Chaplains help?

Workplace chaplaincy ministry is described as a “ministry of presence.”  Pastoral presence is “more than being a nonanxious presence with another: it is an act of will that invites the divine to be present in the space surrounding another in the hope that this person may allow the divine to work in them, providing healing, meaning, and purpose.”[17]

A working definition of chaplain presence, then, is a process through which the chaplain creates an atmosphere of ease and trust so that the recipient of the chaplain’s care can share their own story in a nonjudgmental and compassionate environment. This presence has no apparent agenda and a high degree of flexibility, allowing for conversation that includes and transcends present health concerns. A key component in creating this environment is the chaplain’s emotional vulnerability in the interactions making the conversation a more mutual exploration into the stories of both the receiver of care and the care provider/ chaplain.

In providing a working operational definition of presence, Kevin Adams (2018) defines presence in four components: environment, the care receiver, caregiver response, chaplain assessment, and chaplain intervention.  Through this interactive process in the presence of the care-receiver, the chaplain gives care to the personal and spiritual needs of the care-receiver.

 Funding Required for Workplace Chaplaincy

Most chaplains from churches and para churches are funded by public offerings in the present workplace ministry structure.  In the days of the pandemic, the funding is expected to be squeezed than enriched.  However, there is a growing trend of vocational workplace chaplains, bi-vocational chaplains, and laypeople joining the workplace ministry as self-funded chaplains.

The Doulos Ministry group has been operating a Daniel School, training marketplace missionaries in a three-year program for 17 years.  The Central Gospel Mission group also introduced a 24-hour duration of marketplace disciple-making training starting this year.  Such activity will provide a continued cadet of ministers to the workplace ministry in Hong Kong.  If properly trained, they can be converted to chaplains and fund their chaplaincy services in the workplace.

The Prospects of Workplace Chaplains as a Profession in Hong Kong

Workplace chaplaincy is not a professional service in Hong Kong yet.  There has been no professional body for their pastoral and spiritual care services.  No qualifying examination and supervision nor ethical standards have been set up.

Perhaps, the Hong Kong Hospital Chaplaincy professional development paths may shed light on how workplace chaplaincy training can be enhanced to form a profession in the workplace.

Reference from Hospital Chaplaincy Development

With the influx of mainland immigrants in the 1950s, the social structure of Hong Kong underwent drastic changes. There were increasing demands for various social services, including education and medical services. The government-built hospitals one after one in the 1960s, and there were more and more Christians serving in hospitals. In addition to work, they shared the gospel with patients and were the pioneers and core members of “hospital evangelism.”

In the 1970s, Christian hospitals, local churches, and theological seminaries started to touch on “holistic healing” and studied the possibility of sending Christian chaplains to public hospitals. Eventually, before 1980, they successfully held the Conference of Holistic Healing, which set the foundation for chaplaincy service in the future.

“The development of professional chaplaincy has been in discussion for several years since a growing expectation on the roles and responsibilities of chaplaincy from the healthcare system has been identified. The Task Force for Development of Professional Chaplaincy was formed under the Association of Hong Kong Hospital Christian Chaplaincy Ministry (AHKHCCM) in April 2006.

 A survey on issues related to professionalization was conducted from September to October 2006, in which 69 questionnaires were received, and the response rate was high at 81%. Among the respondents, 93% supported the development, and 81% agreed that the time was ripe for such a development. Moreover, 71% supported forming a professional group to monitor ethical standards of professional chaplains, and the group was suggested to set up under AHKHCCM at the early phase.” (Professional Chaplaincy— Its Role and Significance in Healthcare Service)[18]

The Need for a Professional Body for Workplace Chaplaincy

Getting the incumbents’ consensus in workplace ministry to form a professional body is probably the first step toward developing workplace chaplaincy in Hong Kong.

Workplace Chaplains have been established as a self-governing professional body in America and England.  The Workplace Chaplaincy Mission UK[19], The National Association of Veterans Affairs Chaplains (NAVAC), the National VA Black Chaplains Association, the Jewish Chaplains Association, The National Institute of Business and Industrial Chaplains (NIBIC), the Latin American Association of Chaplaincy and Clinical Ministries (LAACCM), while The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) is the largest chaplain cognate group in the USA.

The Need is There

This paper demonstrates that the need for pastoral and spiritual care in the workplace is strong. Present faith in work integration and pastoral care in the workplace has enormous room for improvement.

The workplace in Hong Kong and else in the world is changing drastically, and so is people’s need for spiritual renewal in the face of God.  Workplace chaplaincy has almost been a church mission. In-house chaplaincy by para churches and laity chaplains expedites the fulfillment of spiritual needs in the workplace.  The rent-a-chaplain demonstrated overseas can evolve as the needs arise.   The next step is strengthening the present marketplace pastors, chaplaincy, and disciples training to incorporate pastoral care and shepherding skills through the Clinical rural education program for workplaces.

The Time is Ripe

More than 400 workers are already there.  The ministries have been in operation over the past decades.  Vocational, bi-vocational chaplains and laypeople have been deployed.  Yet the training for professional pastoral care and soul care for the workplace workers are lacking.  The consensus to develop into such a professional association for defining professional and ethical standards and developing professionals is yet to materialize.

Pilot Training Program has been Lined Up.

The author has been praying to set up an Association for Professional Workplace Chaplaincy in Hong Kong.  The first step is to invite the incumbents from the ministry to share ideas.   If the felt needs are there, begin recruiting members from the existing ministry leaders, church pastors, and workplace chaplains already in the workplace ministries to form the professional body.   Their training and professional development needs will be examined and agreed upon.   There had been a discussion between the author and a CPE training center that they could offer a pilot CPE-type training program for the training of workplace chaplains.  The training methodology adapted from the CPE for hospital chaplains can be modified and tested to cater to pastoral care for workplace people.  [20]


In conclusion, the need for workplace chaplains is there.  The development path is clear.  The model has been proven.  The pilot training program has been lined up.  The benefits are long-awaited. Further actions are required.   It is the ripe time to start the development shortly after the pandemic.   WWhomis God sending to start this work? (5,394 words)


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[1]          Wolf, Tanja and Birgit Feldbauer-Durstmüller, “Workplace chaplaincy: a literature review,” Journal of Management, Spirituality & religion, 2018 Vol. 15, no. 1, 38–63

[2]     Winterbottom, I. 2011. Introduction of Paper of Working Group on Chaplaincy and Religion in the Workplace – Church Action on Labour and Life European Contact Group and Work Integration and Religion. Project Report. Nettingsdorf: Betriebsseelsorge und Katholische Arbeiterbewegung Linz – Land.

[3]    Der Walt, Freda Van and  Jeremias J. De Klerk, “Workplace spirituality and job satisfaction,”  International Review of Psychiatry, June 2014; 26(3): 379–389

Marschke , E. , Preziosi , R. , & Harrington , W.J . (2011) . How sales personnel view the relationship between job satisfaction and spirituality in the workplace . Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Confl ict , 15 , 71 – 110 .


[4]   Guest Editorial, The Greatest Story Never Told, Editorial, The Journal of Pastoral Care, Vol 50, Spring 1996.

[5]   EAP Association, EAPA Exchange, May/ June 2001.

[6]   Li, Soo Fung, “The Practice and Influence of Faith in the Work Context of Well-Educated Christians in Hong Kong,”, Unpublished DMin Dissertation, the Bethel Bible Seminary, 2020..

[7]   The word “bi-vocational” pastors means that the person will be taking up two roles in their work, a worker in the organization they belong, and a minister also in the organization with evangelistic missions as part of their life goals.

[8]   2018 HKPES香港在職信徒工作處境調查──初步報告 (050502022

[9]   Li Soo Fung, The Practice and Influence of Faith in the Work Context of Well-Educated Christians in Hong Kong, Unpublished DMin Dissertation, Bethel Bible Seminary, 2020.

[10]   Fung, Tak Yan Carol, “Exploring Manifestations of Faith-Work Integration in the Banking, Finance Services, and Insurance Industry in Hong Kong, Unpublished DMin Dissertation, Bethel Bible Seminary, 2020.

[11]    Bakke Center, HK, A Qualitative Study on Your Spirituality, in Christian Times, and Urban Transformation, Bakke Monthly Newsletter Issue 26, May, 2022,, 25 May, 2022.

[12]     Hong Kong Government Annual 2020, https://www.yearbook.) (2022/4/27) and Xu JT, ”How many Christians are there in Hong Kong?”, Bethel Bible Seminary Newsletter, 2018-10-8

[13]    HK Government Statistics, “2021Income and Wages Report,” 2021, Page 78

[14]     Assuming 2 hours of worship and 2 hours of ministry in the church

[15]   Ronald W. Pies , “Care of the Soul in the Time of COVID-19,” Psychiatric Times, 2020,

[16]   Snowden, Austyn, “What Did Chaplains Do During the Covid Pandemic? An International Survey,” Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling 2021, Vol. 75(1S) 6–16.

[17]   Mark Larocca-Pitts, “Holding space: Pastoral presence for a new age,” PlainViews 6, no. 15 (September 2, 2009).

[18]   Association of Hong Kong Hospital Chaplaincy Ministry, “Professional Chaplaincy— Its Role and Significance in Healthcare Service,” page 14, 2009.

 [20]   The author has received full courses of 3600 hours of CPE training. Discussion with the CPE training body revealed that the CPE training is good for the training of workplace chaplains.  We need to start training supervisors for such training in a pilot scheme to begin.


  1. |職場神學| 工作中的三一神: 周志堅
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4.  放下被需要、被認同、放棄要操控一切: 周志堅 :

5. 上好的福份   經文默想 路加福音十38-42

6. 行在神的命定之中  周志堅 2022/7/25    本文連結:

7. 活在失序的世界? 退修默想 – 周志堅 7/23/2022本文連結:

8. CPE 的臨場職事 (The Ministry of Presence in CPE) – 周志堅博士

9. 翁麗玉牧師學習婚姻輔導


作者: 周志堅 Augustine Chow

周志堅博士 是一名有夢想、有活力、以專業保險代理為業的雙職傳道人。他立志推動職場事工,職場牧養關顧。 他是香港十大傑出青年,歷任國際性頂級銀行及保險公司保險高層管理。 Dr. Augustine Chow is a vision-driven dual-roles minister in the marketplace in Hong Kong. He is committed to advocating marketplace chaplaincy ministries. He was honored as An Outstanding Young Person of Hong Kong. He was a senior executive in one of the world’s top-notched banking and insurance companies.


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