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Introduction to Pastoral Theology and Care
Welcome to this introduction to pastoral theology, care, and counseling. In this course, you will be invited to approach the practice of spiritual caregiving as a meaningful and deeply joyful calling. You will become familiar with the pastoral-theological literature that advances narrative and communal-contextual models of care. These models stress listening to persons’ stories in all of their cultural complexity, and bringing these stories into conversation with theology, tradition, and local communities of faith. Pastoral skills in listening, responding, and group process will be practiced in the classroom and in small groups led by local pastoral practitioners. Family systems theory, pre-marital counseling, and crisis care will be covered. Throughout, attention will be given to issues of justice and social location as critical dimensions of caregiving. Teaching methods include lecture, discussion, film, case studies, independent research projects, small-group work, and role-plays.
100 pages of reading per week
3 papers (5-8) pages each
Attendance and participation in practice
Final exam-take home
v Honors to Honors- work is exemplary. Written work is insightful, clear, well reasoned, original,
thorough, and technically precise. Mastery of all of the course reading is demonstrated, along with a
capacity to enter into care-full discussion, across differences in theology, culture, or point of view.
Marked growth in pastoral skills over the course of the semester is evident. The four course objectives
are fully achieved.
v High Pass + to HP work is complete and very good in content, form, and style. It reflects a deep
understanding of 90% of the course readings, evident in both writing and class participation.
Attendance is regular and prompt. Skills have improved and the four course objectives are achieved.
v HP- work (required for credit) is complete and very good in content, form, and style, though there may
be some gaps in understanding, and a few technical errors in writing. The student will demonstrate a
basic capacity to use the pastoral skills, and mastery of 80% of the reading. No more than 2 classes may
be missed, and at least three course objectives are achieved.
v No Credit work indicates an inadequate grasp of course ideas and skills or poor attendance,
participation, interpersonal skills, and/or the failure to meet 2 course objectives.