Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Richard Walsh-Bowers

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Citizen participation was encouraged through the use of a needs and resource assessment. The assessment accomplished: 1) a process of involving rural citizens in community decision-making and 2) gathering data useful to the planning of a community chaplaincy program. Seventy participants completed a questionnaire through one of three methods: 1) self-administered by mental health service users, 2) a phone survey of residents in remote rural areas, and 3) a nominal group process involving congregational members. I focused the analysis of the data on: 1) the actual and suggested resources the participants reported for the four needs: personal, spiritual, social and material and 2) the need and support for a religious community-based service such as a community chaplaincy. The results suggested that citizen participation in rural areas contributes meaningful information for community planning. The needs and resources of the participants varied according to their location, gender and current active church involvement. The participants’ attitudes towards a religious community—based service were mostly supportive but conditional on issues such as the service providers‘ level of training and ability to be non-denominational, non-judgemental and to insure confidentiality.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season