Big thumbs 2From 2012 to 2014 the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) hosted an interdisciplinary research group of initiating nature that brought together theology and medicine in a particular, medically relevant context. The group consisted of Klaus Baumann (Freiburg), Arndt Büssing (Witten/Herdecke) and Niels Christian Hvidt (München and Odense, Denmark). Together with Eckhard Frick, Professor of Spiritual Care in Munich they founded the Network for Research in Spirituality and Health (NERSH).


The aim the NERSH Network is to contribute to the understanding of psychosocial and spiritual needs and resources in health care – with particular focus on patients suffering from chronic diseases as well as their relatives, health  professionals and pastors that care for them – in order that they may gain the best assistance as they cope with their disease. Through the particular focus on the needs of patients the project seeks to support and value the way patients deal with chronic disease. Moreover, the project will also focus on patients´ relatives and health professionals, and their way of coping with stress in their various attentions to the needs of patients.

Medical staff  –>   Patients and  Relatives  <–  Pastors/Ministers

In its interdisciplinary work the NERSH Network dedicates itself to basic research, translation into innovative research, evaluation of interventions, and recommendations for the implementation in the health care professions. It will actively work towards the enhancement of research collaboration in the secular, religiously pluralistic European context, beginning with Denmark, Germany, Poland and Switzerland, so that through interdisciplinary dialogue the quality of research in this field, so relevant for the quality of life and the health care system at large, may be advanced and stabilized.

We invite you to join this network as researchers to collaborate in the 2 main topics: (1) patients´ spiritual needs and (2) physician values.

Feel free to contact us!