Martin Walton is professor by special appointment in spiritual care and chaplaincy studies ('Bijzonder hoogleraar geestelijke verzorging') at the Protestant Theological University, Groningen, The Netherlands. The chair is funded by the foundation Deo Volente.
Together with Dr. Sjaak Körver of Tilburg School of Catholic Theology, Martin Walton coördinates the Dutch Case Studies Project in Chaplaincy Care, in which more than sixty chaplains from different fields of health care and government service participate, along with ten researchers from four different Dutch universities. In research communities of 8 to 12 chaplains under supervision of an academic researcher, the chaplains evaluate case studies according to a set format and procedure for the sake of identifying good practices. The project runs from 2016 to 2020.
In previous research Martin Walton has analyzed conceptualizations of spirituality in health care and proposed a constructive approach for discerning lived spirituality. He has also developed an understanding of chaplaincy as mutual hospitality, for which he coined a description of the chaplain as 'welcoming guest'. In 2014 a research project on client interpretations of chaplaincy in psychiatric care was completed and published in Hoe waait de wind? Tilburg: KSGV 2014.
Martin Walton is one of the initiators of the Northern Network for Spirituality, Ethics and Care, a continuing conversation on the colors of care in the north of the Netherlands. (http://www.pthu.nl/nnzez/) He chairs the academic advisory board of the Dutch Association of Spiritual Caregivers (VGVZ) and is a member of the research network of the Society for Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counseling (Germany) and of the Joint Research Council of the Association of Professional Chaplains (USA).