Mr. Vineet Chander (J.D.), Coordinator for Hindu Life at Princeton, the first professional Hindu Chaplain in Higher Education in the US, convened the initial gathering of Professional Hindu Chaplains at Princeton, and since then iterations of the gatherings were held at Yale University, hosted by Dr. Asha Shipman (M.A., PhD), the Director of Hindu Life there, and hosted by Dr. Brahmachari Sharan (M.A. (Hons), PhD), the Director for Dharmic Life at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
In 2020, Dr. Shipman worked with dedication to transition the planned in-person gathering to an online conference with the help of Rev. J. Cody Nielsen, the Founder and Executive Director of Convergence. It also happened that the work spearheaded initially by Mrs. Shama Mehta (BCC) to move towards professional accreditation and credentialing for any new chaplains also reached fruition. Together with the efforts to create a sustained professional network, all the pieces for the first incarnation of the North American Hindu Chaplains Association were ready for its launch in May 2020.
The field of Hindu Chaplaincy, although quite small, is developing rapidly and is currently dependant on the dedication of a few to volunteer their time for the collation and creation of information that would be of use to Chaplains, institutions and the broader community. We look forward to the developments that increased interest in this nascent area of spiritual and pastoral care tailored to educational institutions, health systems, armed forces, prison systems, corporate, and other contexts. We are equally excited for the opportunity to assist Hindu communities envisage broader community integration and service in North America, making use of the unique skills and insights of Hindu chaplains.
Holistic human development entails caring for the
body, mind, intellect, and spiritual essence
Collate resources for Hindu chaplains and chaplains that support Hindus
Develop guidelines around accreditation and endorsement in partnership with recognised bodies
Provide opportunities for professional development and currency with standard best practices
Raise awareness of the necessity for well-trained spiritual care providers in the holistic care and development of each and every individual.
To serve anyone in need with the knowledge and experience of spiritual and pastoral care, utilising the insights and techniques from the one of the world's most ancient spiritual traditions as applicable in the contemporary contexts.