Spring 2010
FSW – Phoenix





DESCRIPTION: Pastoral counseling, as a distinct realm of the ministry of healing of the church, will be explored theoretically and practically to prepare persons to offer competent spiritual and emotional guidance to those who seek out a pastor in times of trouble. A survey of counseling theory from an integrative perspective, with attention to particular ministry issues within the context of the community church ministry, will be incorporated into a practical format where essential skills will be explored and practiced.


SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: People intuitively turn to pastors during times of trouble. The ministry of healing was a sign of the gospel announcement for Jesus and the early church. Today, pastoral counseling can extend this expression of the churchŐs mission to announce GodŐs redemptive healing of creation. Providing competent availability to people during times of crisis and change is vital to a missional church and effective pastoring. The pastoral counselor can help facilitate a constructive direction through life problems and an awareness of GodŐs healing and growing activity in various passages of the life cycle. The equipped pastor can offer effective therapeutic intervention and spiritual-emotional support of individuals and the emotional systems that connect them and the church.


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students successfully completing this course will have: (1) an understanding of the missional character of the ministry of counseling and how it relates to general pastoral work of spiritual formation, (2) an integrated knowledge of the theological, psychological and relational systems basis of pastoral counseling, (3) an understanding of, and ability to demonstrate basic counseling skills, including empathetic presence and listening, assessement, formulation, intervention and facilitating change, (4) the ability to identify common emotional, relational and psychological issues as well as life-cycle passages, (5) an awareness of the person of the pastor and the vital impact of this Ňself-awarenessÓ in counseling ministry, and (6) an understanding of the value of referral counseling and ethical consideration.


COURSE FORMAT: Four weekends over ten weeks will provide 30 hours of class time. Lecture, discussion, audio-visuals, case studies, experiential exercises, triads utilizing counseling skill training processes, and practice in simulated counseling circumstances will integrate theory, theology, and practice.



A minimum of 1200 pp., including weekly assignments from the required and recommended reading (studentŐs choice):

á    Anderson, Ray S. Self Care: A Theology of Personal Empowerment and Spiritual Healing. Victor Books, 2000. ISBN: 1881266141.

á    Kornfeld, Margaret Z. Cultivating Wholeness: A Guide to Care and Counseling in Faith Communities. Continuum, 2000. ISBN: 0826412327.



á    Anderson, Herbert, and Robert Cotton Fite, Becoming Married. Westminster John Knox Press, 1993.

á    Augsburger, David. Pastoral Counseling Across Cultures. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976.

á    _________. Helping People Forgive. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

á    Bidwell, Duane, Short-Term Spiritual Guidance. Fortress Press, 2004.

á    Capps, Donald, Agents of Hope: A Pastoral Psychology. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2001.

á    ___________, Giving Counsel: A MinisterŐs Guidebook. Chalice Press, 2001.

á    ___________,  Living Stories: Pastoral Counseling in Congregational Context. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1998.

á    ___________,   Reframing: A New Method in Psastoral Care. Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 1990.

á    Ciarrocchi, Joseph W. A MinisterŐs Handbook of Mental Disorders. Paulist Press, 1993.

á    Cozad Neuger, Christie. Counseling Women: A Narrative, Pastoral Approach. Fortress Press. 2001.

á    Dyksra, Robert, Counseling Troubled Youth. Westminster John Knox Press, 1997.

á    Dunlap, Susan, Counseling Depressed Women. Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.

á    Egan, Gerard. The Skilled Helper. 5th edition. Monterey, CA: Brooks-Cole, 1994.

á    _________. Exercises in Helping Skills. 5th edition. Monterey, CA: Brooks-Cole, 1994.

á    Gilbert, Roberta, The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory: A New Way of Thinking About the Individual and the Group. Leading Systems Press, 2006.

á    _________. Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions. Wiley, 1992.

á    Hunsinger, Deborah van Duesen. Theology and Pastoral Counseling: A New Interdisciplinary Approach. Eerdmans, 1995.

á    Hunter, Rodney. Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling. Nashville: Abingdon, 1990.

á    Montgomery, Dan and Kate. Compass Psychology: Where Psychology and Theology Really Meet. Compass Works, 2009.

á    Nichols, Michael P., The Lost Art of Listening. The Guilford Press, 1996.

á    Kornfield, Margaret. Cultivating Wholeness: A Guide to Care and Counseling in Faith Communities. Continuum Books, 1998.

á    Patton, John. Pastoral Counseling: A Ministry of the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1983.

á    _________. Pastoral Counseling in Context. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1993.

á    _________. Is Human Forgiveness Possible? Abington Press, 1985.

á    Patton, John and Childs, Brian, Christian Marriage & Family: Caring for Our Generations. Abington Press, 1988.

á    Richardson, Ronald W., Creating a Healthier Church. Fortress Press, 1996.

á    Stanely, Scott, et al, A Lasting Promise: A Christian Guide to Fighting for Your Marriage. Jossey-Bass Publishers.

á    Stone, Howard (Ed), Strategies for Brief Pastoral Counseling, Fortress Press, 2001.

á    _________. The Word of God and Pastoral Care. Abington Press, 1988.

á    Switzer, David. The Minister as Crisis Counselor. Abingdon, !976.

á    Wicks, R., R. Parsons, and D. Capps, eds. Clinical Handbook of Pastoral Counseling. New York: Integration Books, 1985.

á    Wynn, John, Family Therapy in Pastoral Ministry. Harper & Row, 1982.



1.         Attend lectures and small group training sessions (25% of grade).

2.         Present a brief paper (3 pages) addressing personal formative/developmental and theological assumptions you bring to the pastoral counseling relationship. (10%).

3.         Attend one session of a 12-step group (AA, NA, etc.) and write a reaction paper (2 pages) integrating theological and psychological perspectives (10%).

4.         Completion of assigned readings totaling 1,200 pages (pass-fail; 20%).

5.         Demonstrate basic counseling skills in small group exercises (pass-fail; 10%).

6.         Write a brief paper (7-10 pages) on a topic or issue in pastoral counseling (e.g. a model of counseling; depression, shame, family counseling, addiction, divorce, etc.) (25%).






This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification.