Dr Andrew Todd Rev Canon

Dr Andrew Todd

Rev Canon

Director Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

+44 (0)29 2083 8001
St. Michael's College, 54 Cardiff Road, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2YJ

Andrew is Dean of Chaplaincy Studies and responsible for the development of the Centre for Chaplaincy Studies. Other than chaplaincy, his key research interests are:

  • The hermeneutical dimension of practical theology
  • Practical theology in dialogue with the social sciences, especially in relation to research methods
  • Practical theology as public theology – addressing public agendas
  • Practical theology in the context of professional development


Andrew has 16 years experience of theological education, including continuing ministerial education, and the ecumenical training of ordained ministers in the Cambridge Theological Federation (of which he is a past President and Senior Associate). He has also been a Chaplain in Higher Education. He moved to Cardiff from Bury St Edmunds, where he was Sub-Dean of the Cathedral, in addition to his training responsibilities.

He is a practical theologian with particular interests in chaplaincy, public theology, hermeneutics and research methods. His PhD, from Cardiff University, combined the interest in hermeneutics and research methods in an empirical investigation of the talk, dynamics and theological practice of Bible-study groups. As part of his role as Director of the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies, he directs the MTh in Chaplaincy Studies and other educational programmes and is developing research into chaplaincy. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of Cardiff University.

  • 2009 PhD (Cardiff University) – Passed with no corrections required
  • 1998 MPhil (King's College, London)
  • 1984 BA Hons. (University College, Durham) Theology

Honours and awards

  • 2003 & 2004 Edward Rhys-Price Scholarship, Cardiff University

Professional memberships

  • British and Irish Association for Practical Theology (BIAPT)
  • British International Studies Association (BISA)
  • BSA Sociology of Religion Study Group

Postgraduate Students


Nigel Goodfellow

'Live or let die': Decision making in Critical Care
Hamish Ferguson-StuartAccurate description, empathetic accompaniment: the uses of a poetic mode of theology in informing the practice of chaplaincy in the contemporary acute health care setting.
Stephen FlattDelivering Spiritual Care in the Acute Healthcare Setting: A Shared Responsibility?

What part does faith play in healthcare?

Existing research into the benefits of faith for health and well-being (both of patients and staff), including the role of spiritual care, is somewhat disparate and not well developed. Further, much of the existing research focuses on the North American, rather than the UK, context. Further research is timely, given both the significant development of chaplaincy within a multi-faith and multi-cultural context, and the financial stringencies applied to all areas of healthcare (and the public sector more widely), within the current political and economic climate. This research project will identify, through a rigorous research process, evidence for the benefits of faith (defined broadly) for health and well-being, and examine the implications for the practice of spiritual and religious care.

Project aims

  • To investigate the benefits of faith for the health and well-being of patients and staff and the implications for the practice of chaplaincy and spiritual care

Funder: Multi-faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy
Project Value: £25K
Duration: February-November 2012
Methods: Literature Review and Qualitative Research

The role and contribution of a multi-faith prison chaplaincy to the contemporary prison service

This research was carried out by the Cardiff Centre for Chaplaincy Studies on behalf of the National Offender Management Service. The research was into the contribution of prison chaplaincy in England and Wales to the contemporary prison service; to the lives of prisoners and the life of the prison. The research was carried out during the calendar year 2010, in seven sites in England and Wales

Project aims

  • To investigate perceptions of and attitudes to prison chaplaincy services of prisoners (service users and non service users), stakeholders and service providers, in relation to the present performance of chaplaincy and its future development, within a multi-faith and multi-cultural context; to facilitate the evaluation of the chaplaincy services' contribution to the Prison Service and wider work of NOMS
  • To investigate perceptions and attitudes to the different dimensions of chaplaincy provision.
  • To elicit views which evaluate chaplaincy provision, in relation to the strengths and weaknesses of services.
  • To use appropriate qualitative research methodologies to carry out the investigation that are ethically sound; that are practicable within the setting of the Prison Service; that enable the gathering of data from both individuals and groups.

Funder: National Offender Management Service
Project Value: £71K
Duration: January 2010 - June 2011
Methods: Literature review and qualitative methods (including interviews with chaplains, prisoners, prison officers, governors and senior managers)

Military Chaplains and the ethics of conflict

British military chaplains are amongst those who experience international conflict at close quarters, as they are deployed into theatres of engagement alongside other military personnel. From this context they have a distinctive perspective on the morality of conflict for two interconnected reasons. One is that their role includes ethical facilitation within the armed services, through training and providing a moral presence. This means that internal military questions about the justice of present actions are often brought to their door. The second is that, because of their dual allegiance to both the military and their faith communities, an examination of how the ethical traditions of the latter relate to the former is necessary in order to negotiate a working identity and practice. This project will begin to examine military chaplains' distinct perspective(s) on the ethics of conflict in general and the Just War tradition in particular. It will also consider the implications for current understandings of the Military Covenant.

Project Aims

  • To identify the kind of ethical issues encountered by British military chaplains in situations of conflict and their aftermath, and the shape of the ethical role of chaplains in this context
  • Through critical reflection, shared by chaplains and academics, to develop an understanding of the distinctive perspective of chaplains on these issues and the Just War tradition in particular
  • To disseminate the findings of the project, through the publication of articles

Funder: British Academy
Project Value: £4K
Duration: January 2009 – June 2010
Methods: Three residential workshops provided the opportunity for the following activities

Presentation of papers on current ethical thinking, of direct relevance to international conflict
Presentation of papers on the role of the military chaplain
Presentation of case-studies (confidential to the project group) of military chaplains' experience of their role, as the focus for ethical questions and discussion (chaplain participants)
Critical reflection on the case-studies involving all members of the project group, to draw out the implications of chaplains' experience for their professional self-understanding, but also for wider debate about the ethics of conflict and the Just War tradition today
(In the final workshop) presentation of papers on the distinctive perspective of military chaplains on the ethics of conflict. These will then lead to publications in the final six months of the project

Spiritual healthcare and public policy

This was a collaborative PhD studentship, which provided the opportunity to bring academic methods and resources to bear on the issues of social policy surrounding healthcare chaplaincy, in order to provide a careful critique of the current position, in collaboration with chaplains and policy-makers, whose practice will be informed, in turn, by the research.

Project aims

  • To develop an critical overview of the legislation, policies, guidelines on good practice which form the current parameters for the work of healthcare chaplains, together with the associated literature
  • To develop, using appropriate research methodologies an empirical understanding of the impact of this social policy on the work of particular healthcare chaplains, in relation to issues such as those listed above
  • To bring together the understanding of the policy framework and the experience of practitioners, to form a reasoned critique of a key aspect or aspects of the current situation, which will inform chaplains and all those involved in policy, and may shape future policy-making and chaplaincy training

Funder: AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme
Duration: 2007-2

Additional Information: This led to a successful Cardiff University PhD, submitted by Dr Layla Welford and passed with no corrections required in 2010, entitled 'Spiritual Healthcare and Public Policy: An investigation into the legal and social policy frameworks of healthcare chaplaincy'