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Introduction to Pastoral Care

Foundational Unit for postgraduate students.

This unit gives an overview of the discipline of pastoral studies. Biblical and theological aspects of care are presented and personal and spiritual formation sessions focus on the student’s pastoral identity, skill development and reflective practice. Small group sessions provide an introduction to basic helping skills in the context of ministry practice and offer opportunities to practice and obtain feedback on those skills.

Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

Outline and critically engage current pastoral care themes in a variety of settings.
Identify and describe biblical and theological themes and motifs which inform and complement their pastoral identity and practice.
Demonstrate integration of experience, helping-skills development and theological reflection as these three strands become more integrated with the events of daily life and the tasks of pastoral care.
(level 2) Demonstrate an advanced level of integration of skill development with theological reflection.
(postgraduate) Critically engage current research and integrate this within their theological reflection on pastoral identity, ministry and healthcare practice.

Faculty: Chris Turner and Mary Dewberry

Offered: in both semesters in 2017

Semester 1 – Mondays 6.00pm – 9.00pm at Mulgrave.
Semester 2 – Thursdays 9.30am – 12.30pm at Mulgrave.

Class time: Three hours per week, including lectures, skills training, seminars and supervised group work.


Level 1:
One 2,000 word essay (50%)
One 1,000 word critical book report (25%)
One 1,000 word reflective critique and written verbatim (25%)
Level 2:
One 2,500 word essay (50%)
One 1,500 word critical book report (25%)
One 1,000 word reflective critique and written verbatim (25%)
One 2,500 word essay (50%)
One 1,500 word critical book report (25%)
One 2,000 word reflective critique and written verbatim (25%)

Select Bibliography:

Anderson, R. Spiritual Caregiving as Secular Sacrament: A Practical Theology for Professional Caregivers (London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003).
Geldard, D. & K. Basic Personal Counselling, 6th ed. (Sydney: Pearson Education, 2009).
Lartey, E. Pastoral Theology in an Intercultural World (Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2006).
McSherry, W. Making Sense of Spirituality in Nursing and Health Care Practice (London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006).
Miller-McLemore, B. (ed.). The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Practical Theology (London: Wiley/Blackwell, 2012).
Pattison, S. The Challenge of Practical Theology: Selected Essays (London: Jessica Kingsley, 2007).
Patton, J. Pastoral Care: An Essential Guide (Nashville: Abingdon, 2005).
Pembroke, N. Trinitarian Perspectives on Pastoral Care and Counselling (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).
Puchalski, C. Making Healthcare Whole: Integrating Spirituality into Healthcare, (Conschocken, PA: Templeton Press, 2010).
Stevenson-Moessner, J. A Primer in Pastoral Care (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005).
Roberts, S. (ed.). Professional, Spiritual and Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain’s Handbook (Woodstock, Vermont: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2012).
Whitehead E., & Whitehead J. Transforming our Painful Emotions: Spiritual Resources in Anger, Shame, Grief, Fear and Loneliness (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2010).
Wicks, R. & Rodgerson, T. Companions in Hope: The Art of Christian Caring (NY: Paulist, 1998).
Woodward, J. & Pattison, S. (eds.) The Blackwell Reader in Pastoral and Practical Theology (Oxford: Blackwell, 2000).