by ICJS Newsroom

The Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) has awarded Interreligious Capacity-Building grants to four organizations to help them expand their ability to offer chaplaincy and spiritual care services.

The grants of up to $1,000 each will help to to specifically address the interreligious needs of volunteer chaplains or chaplains serving in small organizations with limited access to resources.

“The recipients of this year’s micro-grants provide spiritual care to groups that are particularly vulnerable or under-served.” said Alisha Wimbush, ICJS’ Program Director for Religious Leaders. “We believe these grants will enable them to strengthen and even expand their much-needed services.” 

ICJS created the Interreligious Capacity-Building Grants program as part of its effort to create and nourish a robust interreligious infrastructure for chaplains and other ministers serving the spiritual needs of a multi-religious public.

“Our outreach to chaplains is part of our broader mission to build an interreligious, multigenerational, racially diverse network of institutions, schools, nonprofits, and religious communities in our area,” said Heather Miller Rubens, ICJS Executive Director and Roman Catholic Scholar. “We’re pleased to support the work of these organizations that are contributing to building this interreligious infrastructure in the greater Baltimore region.”

The four awardees are: 

    • The Community of St. Dysmas, a Lutheran congregation within the Maryland State prison system. It will use the grant to provide mailings and resources to anyone  incarcerated in the Maryland prison system who wants to receive devotional or worship materials. It will also connect individuals to spiritual communities that meet their needs.
    • Inge Benevolent Ministries, a Baltimore-based resource for Muslim women who have suffered from domestic violence, human trafficking, or sexual assault. The grant will fund culturally and religiously competent training services for people providing care to Muslim women who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking or sexual assault, as well as refugee families from diverse faith traditions.
    • Project SPIRIT Sickle Cell, a Montgomery County nonprofit providing spiritual care to people with sickle cell disease. Its grant will go toward training and resources for their chaplains to learn how to integrate spirituality and healthcare into the care they are providing.
    • University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, a health care system in Bel Air with primarily volunteer chaplains. The grant will cover the purchase of Qur’ans, prayer beads, singing bowls, prayer shawls, and siddurim for their paid and volunteer chaplains to share with their patients. They will also purchase books such as the Interfaith Ministry Handbook as a resource for their chaplains who want to learn how to more effectively provide spiritual care to patients from diverse religious/spiritual backgrounds. 

The Interreligious Capacity-Building grants were made possible through the generous support of The Bunting Family Foundation.

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To disarm religious bias and bigotry, the Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS) builds learning communities where religious difference becomes a powerful force for good. ICJS envisions an interreligious society in which dialogue replaces division, friendship overcomes fear, and education eradicates ignorance. Through educational programming, public-facing scholarship, and relationship-centered fellowships and workshops, ICJS models a new conversation in the public square that affirms religious diversity in the United States. ICJS is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. More information is at