Theme and overview

The theme 'Liberty, Legacy, Leadership' provides opportunities for higher education chaplains to develop and re-energise their practice. 

Image of Firth Court

Hosted by the Conference of European University Chaplains (CEUC), this conference will foster collaboration, best-practice sharing and high-quality networking among colleagues from across the globe.

About the conference theme

The sixth IACHE global conference is centred around a thought-provoking theme of Liberty, Legacy, Leadership — but what exactly does this mean?


Chaplaincy is an agent for liberation in higher education. 

During times of great political and social turmoil, the need for greater egalitarian principles inevitably rise to the forefront in many arenas. This is evidenced by the challenges we face as chaplains in higher education. 

The word 'liberty' allows for an in-depth exploration of several key topics including:

  • Intolerance towards religion
  • How tolerance of religion can be achieved and maintained
  • The importance of religious inclusion in higher education communities

Exploring the notion of liberty and understanding how to open up routes for greater religious liberation and inclusion is more pressing for present-day chaplains than ever.


The IACHE 2022 global conference will, for the first time, take place in a nation that operated a colonial empire. As we build on the honour and respect shown to indigenous communities at our fifth global conference in Bendigo, Australia, we must here speak of the legacy of Britain in the pressing context of Britain and Ireland in Europe.

Two key-note speakers will address Brexit, society and religion. Three more of our speakers are sociologists of religion, critiquing the place of religion or belief in higher education.

Additionally, the legacy of chaplaincy has all-too-regularly sat within a Christian frame, even where inter-religious work has begun and representatives of diverse religion and belief traditions have collaborated. Addressing that legacy, valuing it, and yet also noting where that leads to inequality within difference, will help build a more global conference.


Chaplaincy has a particular role in supporting leaders in the university, helping to nurture healthy styles of leadership among the global communities’ next generations via the student communities we serve.

However, the word ‘leadership’ is at times disliked. Models within religion often starkly contrast with the styles that leaders display in different political arenas and it is important to consider what kind of leadership chaplaincy can offer, as a grass roots and radical movement within higher education.

The inclusion of leadership as part of the conference theme allows us to consider the role of chaplaincy in fostering tolerance and holistic well-being within universities.

We hope that this and the other two words comprising the conference theme can excite and inspire delegates at the 2022 conference.

Exploring chaplaincy in higher education

The conference theme frames our exploration of how vibrant chaplaincies may contribute to university communities, asking:

  • how academic freedom and religion and belief equalities intersect
  • what lessons must be learned from our learning and belief histories
  • what leadership styles (secular and religious) best suit our sector

You can read more about the conference in the invitation letter and the invitation brochure.

Who is the conference for?

This conference is primarily aimed at those working in chaplaincy in higher education, and is also of direct relevance to those in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, anti-hate, anti-discrimination and Student Support. It will also have relevance to chaplains from different sectors. People serving in chaplaincies and universities from many continents of the world will attend, with grants available for those requiring financial assistance to attend.

What to expect

Held across five days, the conference will feature keynote speakers, seminars and workshops.

There will be opportunities to join tours and visit local faith communities, with dinners and evening gatherings offering a chance to socialise with peers from across the globe.

Events at the University

Browse upcoming public lectures, exhibitions, family events, concerts, shows and festivals across the University.