Chaplaincy as a calling

The Rev. Megan J. Pike knows firsthand the importance of religious liberty. A board certified chaplain, she serves at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Sep 28, 2022

In addition to serving as a chaplain, Megan is a member of the 2016 class of BJC Fellows, and she is part of BJC’s Faith FULL Community, donating each month to support BJC’s work. Megan often says her faith identity calls her to defend religious freedom and serve as a chaplain, and we asked her to share about her calling.


What’s your role as a hospital chaplain?
I like to say that chaplains are the best kept secret. I’m not necessarily there to offer prayers. Rather, I’m a part of the clinical care team to provide spiritual care or emotional support to patients, caregivers, and staff typically in crisis. As a chaplain, I get the opportunity to impact the lives of perfect strangers from a variety of spiritual backgrounds or no religious affiliation and regularly affirm each person in their personal faith or spiritual practice. On a daily basis, I walk into many different rooms and create safe spaces for patients and their families to process the situation as they need to do so at the moment.

I feel called to do this sacred work. I’ve grown more and more comfortable going into patients’ rooms or waiting rooms to provide care because the heart of chaplaincy and spiritual care does not include evangelism. I consider part of the Hippocratic Oath to be do no spiritual harm as a chaplain.


What does faith freedom look like on a daily basis?
Thanks to BJC and my affiliation with and chaplaincy endorsement by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, I am able to be part of advocating for and practicing religious freedom each day. As a spiritual care provider, I routinely integrate support of the separation of church and state into my approach, believing in the freedom of religion, freedom for religion, and freedom from religion. I invite patients, family members or staff members to guide the conversation in regard to where they are, both spiritually and emotionally.

During a particular encounter, a patient shared that he is agnostic, and I asked how I could be of support as a chaplain. At first, he was skeptical of my presence, yet through conversation he was receptive as I affirmed him in his agnosticism and approached the encounter as a learner.


Why do you choose to support BJC each month?
BJC reinforces the call to lift up my individual faith while also celebrating other faith traditions and those who do not identify with a faith tradition. I’m grateful to BJC for their consistent and ongoing work, and that’s why I support them financially with an automatic gift each month.

We invite you to join Megan and others in our Faith FULL Community by giving a donation — of any size — to BJC each month in support of our ongoing work defending faith freedom for all and calling out the dangers of Christian nationalism.

For more information or to set up your gift, visit our website at or contact Associate Director of Development Danielle Tyler at [email protected] or by phone at 317-523-4076.

This profile first appeared in the fall 2022 edition of Report from the Capital. You can download it as a PDF or read a digital flip-through edition.