Programs that specialize in providing therapeutic interventions which focus on helping people relate to and resolve their problems and concerns in the context of their religious/spiritual beliefs. Services are typically provided by ministers, rabbis, priests, imams or lay representatives of a religious tradition who integrate modern psychological thought and methods with traditional religious training. Included are pastoral counselling programs which are offered in a variety of settings including pastoral counselling centres, inpatient and outpatient mental health facilities and in private practice; chaplaincy services where non-denominational clerics are attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, school, business, police department, fire department, university or private chapel; and other religious counselling disciplines.
Organizations that seek to promote improved communication and cooperation between individuals of different denominations (e.g., Catholics and Protestants) within the Christian faith, with the objectives of establishing a worldwide Christian unity; promoting collaboration on common tasks such as supporting missions, working with students and sponsoring conferences; establishing mutual understanding regarding the fundamental issues of belief, worship and polity; and serving as a united witness on world problems. In some instances, ecumenical groups include in their vision cooperation and understanding among believers in the various Christian traditions and adherents of other religions of the world.
Organizations that seek to promote harmony and understanding among people of different faith traditions; provide a framework for discussion of issues of shared concern; foster cooperation in working for common goals such as peace, justice and the end of human suffering, locally, nationally and internationally; and create environments in which there is respect for diverse religious beliefs and practices, a commitment to civility and compassion, rejection of intolerance and extremism, dedication to the positive, healing role of faith, and recognition of the fact that despite the great variety of religious paths and sub-denominations in the world, at core all religions speak to the need for deeper meaning and to the unity of all life.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.