Pastoral Theology & Care


Carrie and Man therapy photo 2.jpg.png This hybrid course is an introduction to the practice and theology of spiritual and pastoral care using spiritual, theological, psychological, and ethical perspectives. You will learn and practice competencies in socially just, interreligious,  and research literate spiritual care. The course’s competency-based pedagogy will help you identify and spiritually integrate your own experiences of stress while learning and practicing the ways that spiritual care is different from mental health care.

We'll review the course structure and expectations in the Week 1 module. Course materials for each week will be organized into ten modules, which can be accessed through the Modules option on the left column of the Canvas menu.

You have 1 required textbook for this cours e: Doehring, C. (2015). The practice of pastoral care: A postmodern approach (Revised and Expanded E d.). Westminster John Knox. Not 2 005 edition. The-Practice-of-Pastoral-Care-Revised-and-Expanded-Edition.jpg

The following content will help orient you to the course structure, process, and requirements for success:

Discussion posts and responses:  65% of grade Note: Each point is 1% of the final grade

W1 – 4, 7, 9 Discussions – 60 points (10 for each week)

W10 Discussion – 5 points

Grading Rubric for Weekly Forum Discussion Posts and Responses 7 points for discussion posts: 

3 points for responses:

Spiritual Care Conversation Assignments and Discussions 35% of grade

W2 Sign up with a learning partner or ask to be matched with one in your section so that you can meet during our gathering days’ time

W5 During Gathering Days you will complete two 15” zoom conversations spiritual care conversations about spiritual self-care practices with your partner (these will be recorded using instructions for saving iCloud recordings that generate transcriptions). In one conversation, you will be the spiritual caregiver practicing deep listening skills, and in the other conversation, you will be the spiritual care seeker describing spiritual self-care practices for coping with stress. You will do iCloud zoom recordings that generate transcriptions You will also schedule your W7 spiritual care conversation

Week 6 Assignment: Assessing Deep Listening and Self-Differentiation using the Week 5 transcription – 10 points 

W7 Record two 15–20-minute spiritual care conversations with your learning partner.

Week 8: Spiritual Care Assignment (25% of your grade): Assessing deep listening, spiritual differentiation, empathy, and reflexivity using the Week 7 transcript – 25 points

Final Grade Scale (Note: at Iliff professors determine grading scales they will use to assign final course grades) A 97-100; A- 93-96; B+ 89-92; B 85-88; B- 81-84; C+ 77-81; C: 73-76; C- 69-72; D+ 65-68; D 61-64; D- 57-60; F 0-59

Learning Covenant in Spiritual Care Courses

Confidentiality: Personal disclosures are not to be discussed outside of class without agreement and permission. Students can talk about their stress/emotional reactions with trusted others, as long as the focus is on them and not the content of what other students share. In case study assignments that are not fictional, students need to disguise the identity of care seekers. Students must be aware of and abide by the mandatory reporting laws of the state in which they provide professional caregiving. If they are designated spiritual caregivers within their religious tradition, they need to also be aware of what their religious organization requires. If students have reason to suspect or have first-hand knowledge of recent, current or ongoing child abuse or neglect perpetrated on a child currently under the age of 18 years, elder abuse, sexual and domestic violence, or threats of homicide or suicide in any of the pastoral situations they use for fulfilling the requirements of this course they need to seek immediate consultation with supervisors, denominational leaders, and the professor of this course so that proper reporting procedures can be ascertained. Current information on (1) "clergy as mandated reporters" and (2) links to state laws can be found at the Children's Bureau of the US Department of  Health and Human Services. Faculty will abide by the bounds of professional and Title IX reporting laws rather than absolute confidentiality. Under Iliff’s Mandatory Reporting Policy, all employees, with the exception of the Dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Formation,[i] are mandatory reporters. The primary purpose for sharing this information with the Title IX Coordinator is to ensure the impacted party receives information about rights and resources, and that Iliff is able to respond appropriately to such incidents.

Self-Differentiation: In preparing forum posts and responses, assignments, and spiritual care conversations, students are responsible for (1) tracking how they experience stress in their bodies and stress-related emotions, and (2) using practices that foster self-compassion and empathy, such that their emotional/stress reactions are resources for learning, not liabilities.

Levels of self-disclosure: The purpose of self-disclosure is to develop competencies in spiritual care, especially a commitment to one’s own process of spiritual integration that enhances self-differentiation and a capacity for empathy. The purpose of self-disclosure in this learning context is not for personal healing. In deciding how to use/disclose personal experiences in discussions and assignments, students need to track their levels of stress before they share in class discussions, and in assignments/forum postings, and to not disclose experiences that overwhelm their capacities for self-differentiation, spiritual integration, and critical thinking skills. Students need to use their support systems when they become overwhelmed and in making decisions about what kinds of personal experiences to share in weekly posts and journal/case study assignments.

Respect for differences: Students are responsible for using social and theological empathy to imaginatively step into and respect the worlds of those who are different from them in terms of beliefs, values, practices, and social location.

Group and team learning depend upon timely posts and assignments: Every effort must be made to post on time. If posts will be late, faculty, students must notify faculty, forum discussion groups, and/or learning partners. If assignments are consistently late and if late assignments jeopardize their learning partner’s deadlines, students may be required to withdraw from the course. Normally incompletes are not granted because all learning in the course is collaborative.

Availability of faculty: Faculty in spiritual care courses will normally respond within 24 hours to emails ( Messages sent within Canvas are sometimes hard to track amidst other Canvas notifications. Spiritual care faculty offer support but not spiritual care or counseling and are available to help students with referrals for spiritual care, spiritual direction, and counseling. 

Self-care: If this course makes you aware of sources of stress you'd like to work on with professional support, please see details about these professional services available for Iliff students: Self-Care through Iliff's Employee Assistance Program

Academic standards: All students are expected to abide by Iliff’s statements on Academic Integrity, as published in the Masters Student Handbook.  Students should demonstrate academic and professional communication skills that include coherent expression of ideas, use of good grammar, and appropriate citation of sources referenced in responses and assignments. In this course, we use APA format for citations and references.  Iliff's writing lab has a link to suggested sites for writing resources and style guides. Use this link to find the Purdue Online Writing Lab, and their guide to APA 7 formatting.  All course participants should use inclusive language and language that respects the diversity of sexuality, gender, and sexual orientation.

[i] College and university chaplains are included in the category of Confidential Resources, which usually includes those working in the Counseling Center, Health Center, and the University Chaplain. Faculty/staff members who happen to be similarly licensed in their field (e.g., who may be accredited as professional chaplains or licensed mental health professionals). are not exempt from reporting. Student chaplains are usually mandated reporters.

2022 Learning Areas and Goals for Spiritual Care Courses

Written by Carrie Doehring


Learning socially just, interreligious, and research literate spiritual care[i]

Socially just spiritual care pays attention to how stress, struggles, and suffering are exacerbated by social inequities that limit access to resources, such as social, spiritual, and material support. For example, a black lesbian leader of a multi-racial, politically diverse congregation faces increasing opposition from several members who challenge her leadership. In low moments, her exhaustion makes her question her vocation. “I always knew I wasn’t smart enough as a black woman. I should have stayed in the closet and never come out,” are refrains that increase her anxiety and depression. When she seeks help from her regional denomination’s committee overseeing congregational care, the convenor refuses to bring her request for an intervention before his committee, telling her to find a therapist, conveying there is something wrong with her. A minister mentor practicing socially just spiritual care helps her explore how antagonist church members and the denominational convenor of congregational care are making her the ‘identified patient’ within congregational and denominational systems that need to be held accountable for the ways they are targetting her because of her gender, racial, and sexual orientation identities.

Socially just spiritual care uses antiracist and “post/decolonial leadership frameworks that “resist and dismantle the systems that have allowed for injustices and violences (racial and otherwise) to flourish for centuries” (Lizardy-Hajbi, 2020, p. 99).  Socially just spiritual care identifies religious and spiritual practices, values, and beliefs that justify inequities and support religiously based prejudice and discrimination. For example, in many historical and contemporary contexts, sacred texts are used to justify discrimination against LGBTQI persons. Childhood and adolescent spiritual struggles arising from shame about sexual orientation may resurface in haunting ways for people who hoped their journeys of spiritual integration made them no longer vulnerable to such toxic childhood shame.

Bringing post and decolonial orientations to understanding spiritual care interactions makes [us] realize the impossibility of ‘doing no harm’ in a world organized by colonialism. Socially just spiritual care that does no harm is enormously challenging and always unfinished. When chaplains use calming spiritual practices, they may be able to feel in their bodies and their very bones their interconnectedness with a suffering humanity and creation…. Pastoral theologian Larry Graham [2017, pp. 139, 44] describes how lament may be a process of “sharing anguish, interrogating causes, and reinvesting hope” with God as “our co-creative partner in healing, sustaining, and guiding the shaken, shattered, exploded, bombed, bulleted, and drowning human community” ….The profound shame, guilt, grief, fear, and moral distress of…learning [how to practice socially-just spiritual care] can be supported only through personal and communal practices of lament. (Doehring & Kestenbaum, in press, pp. 18-19)

Interreligious spiritual care builds upon an intercultural approach to spiritual care that uses comparative studies of religion to understand how the ways we talk and think about religion is “entangled with imperialism,” as comparative religious studies scholar David Chidester demonstrates in his landmark book, Empire of Religion: Imperialism and Comparative Religion (2014, p. xvii). Interreligious spiritual care combines

Interreligious spiritual care is essential for ensuring spiritually trustworthy relationships that respect the mystery and narrative truth of another’s spiritual and religious practices, values, and beliefs.  Caregivers are more likely to trust the process of spiritual care when they are using spiritual self-care practices that help them monitor stress and relational boundaries and experience inherent goodness within themselves and others. Spiritual self-care enables them to lament and bear suffering together in collaborative, co-creative caring linking care of persons with care of world (Graham, 1992).

Community faith leaders and chaplains need to be research literate—able to find, understand, and use research on how aspects of religion and spirituality help and/or harm people (e.g., the religious and spiritual struggles of experiencing God and/or religious authorities as judging; the ways that chronic religious, spiritual and moral struggles intensify trauma and moral injury). Research literacy counteracts the ways that fears, especially from the Christian Right, generate conspiracy theories and paranoia that justify an anti-science agenda and literal readings of selective sacred texts that cause harm. For example, religiously-based denial of global warming perpetuates the destruction of creation through global warming denials (Alumkal, 2017). Religiously-based values and beliefs justifying personal ‘freedom’ to not wear masks or get covid vaccines endanger those who are vulnerable because of age and health-care status. 

Learning Goal: Practicing a spiritually integrative learning process

Spiritual integration is a collaborative and relational process of using spiritual practices for coping with stress compassionately, finding purpose through overarching values, and exploring beliefs and meanings about stress and suffering in ways that align personal/communal healing with social and ecological justice. Spiritual self-care that includes calming practices (e.g., slow, deep breathing) helps people become aware of

The following model depicts how a trigger may spark physiological stress and related emotions. Negative moral emotions of shame, self-blame, blame, and anger isolate people, prompting them to cope in habitual ways that are reinforced by consumer cultures (e.g., avoidance, seeking relief through the use of social media, food, addictive substances, and compulsive behaviors) that inhibit compassionate accountability for self-care and change.  Spiritual practices that connect people with goodness (within themselves, in humanity, and transcendently) will increase awareness of triggers and the lure of habitual coping. Using in-the-moment spiritual practices will increase self-compassion about how stress generates life-limiting values and beliefs that often reinforce prejudice (directed inwardly through shame or outwardly through anger and blame), and collaborative accountability for co-creative just care of self and others.


Spiritual practices focused on managing stress will often help people become more compassionate toward themselves and others, decreasing self-judgment that compounds stress. Spiritual self-care practices often help people experience the goodness of their relational webs that may include transcendent and immanent goodness (e.g., with creation, God, Buddha, Allah).  Taking time to intentionally use calming practices that foster an inherent, relational, or cosmic sense of goodness will help spiritual caregivers use in-the-moment calming practices when they become aware of their stress responses. Body-oriented spiritual self-care will help spiritual caregivers experience a felt sense[iv] of spiritual trust in the process of lifelong learning that grounds them in what is life-giving within their own religious and/or spiritual heritage, identity, and communities.

 2022 Choosing life.svg

Learning outcomes for developing and demonstrating spiritual integration

Spiritual care courses at Iliff prepare students to become community faith leaders and chaplains engaged in an ongoing collaborative process of spiritual integration by

  1. Experimenting with calming practices, such as slow, deep breathing, and intrinsically meaningful calming and settling practices
  2. Identifying when an aspect of their coursework triggers a stress response in them
  3. Identifying differences between their bodies’ stress response and the calming effects of their spiritual practices
  4. Describing what self-compassion feels like during calming practices, for example, through the warmth of touch during slow, deep breathing
  5. Using self-compassion to identify stress-based emotions (e.g., anger, helplessness, fear, shame, guilt, disgust)
  6. Using a calming practice while listening to/reading responses from others to experience the mystery of the other

In weekly forum discussions and assignments, students report on how they are

Practicing spiritual self-differentiation

When community faith leaders and chaplains are attuned to how stress triggers emotions, habitual responses, and memories, they can use calming and settling spiritual practices to hold these memories in self-compassion. They may then be able to spiritually care for self by separating past memories from present circumstances in a process of spiritual self-differentiation. Self-differentiation helps community faith leaders and chaplains manage relational boundaries in the emotional intensity of intimate, family, work and learning community relationships.

Self-differentiation in intimate/high investment relationships is both an interpersonal process of managing relational boundaries and a psychological process of managing emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Those in professional helping relationships learn how to psychologically self-differentiate in order to maintain healthy boundaries. Chaplains and community faith leaders draw upon their knowledge of faith traditions in order to be spiritually self-differentiated. They are able to separate their beliefs and values about suffering from another’s beliefs and values in ways that respect the mystery of the other.

The added dimension of spiritual self-differentiation is what helps chaplains and community faith leaders develop intercultural and interreligious capacities for learning from jarring encounters with cultural and religious differences, “which may disrupt meaning systems and catalyze defenses or offer the opportunity for religious transformation” (Morgan & Sandage, 2016, p. 130).[v][vi]  Learning how to practice intercultural spiritual care is a developmental process  of paying attention to jarring encounters that evoke responses to cultural differences (e.g., related to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation) across “a spectrum extending from ethnocentric mindsets, which involve less differentiated perspectives on cultural differences, to ethnorelativism, which demands higher levels of awareness and sensitivity (Bennett, 1993, 2004)” (Morgan & Sandage, 2016, p. 133).[vii] Interreligious spiritual care is a specialized kind of intercultural competency that integrates:

The term interreligious competence highlights this integration of graduate studies, especially comparative studies of religion, with formation and clinical training enhancing spiritual self-differentiation in communities of faith and religiously diverse contexts. The term interreligious is used here to describe practices, values, and beliefs within spiritual, religious, and moral orienting systems, which may include humanist, agnostic, or atheist orientations, as well as those who may or may not use the term spiritual in describing their traditions and communities (for example, Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu, or American Indian persons).


Learning outcomes for developing and demonstrating spiritual self-differentiation

Spiritual care courses at Iliff prepare students to become community faith leaders and chaplains who practice spiritual self-differentiation by

  1. Developing a solid flexible spiritual self—sometimes called spiritual or pastoral authority—that truly respects religious differences by not enacting a hierarchical system of religious/spiritual traditions and practices, with some more superior or truthful than others. Students are able to use their agential power grounded in their specialized knowledge of and training in spiritual care, and in their organizational role.
  2. Using calming spiritual practices that help students recognize when stress makes them cope with jarring experiences of cultural and religious differences by wanting to fuse with/disengage from others in ways that minimize, polarize, or use inclusion as a way of ‘re-centering’ themselves in familiar or habitual orientations that blur differences.
  3. Practicing deep listening by using receptive power that echoes the language used by the other to describe their suffering and sources of hope and comfort.
  4. Venturing out of the ‘comfort zone’ of familiar spiritual practices, values, and beliefs, tolerating discomfort for the sake of spiritual growth.

In weekly forum discussions and assignments, students report on how they are


Practicing spiritual and social empathy

Spiritual and social empathy builds upon spiritual self-differentiation by using spiritual and social perspective-taking, which involves standing in the other’s shoes to the extent that one can, and imagining the world from the other’s spiritual perspective, especially the macro systems of intersecting social privileges or disadvantages within the other’s cultural and political contexts. Perspective-taking helps students differentiate spiritually and emotionally while considering differences in social advantages and disadvantages, especially racial differences. Blurring one’s own and another’s perspective will lower empathic attunement and could contribute to spiritual neglect, coercion, and microaggressions.


Learning outcomes for developing and demonstrating spiritual and social empathy

The following are examples of learning outcomes for how students integrate key concepts in spiritual and social empathy with an interpersonal capacity for ‘seeing the other’ and using communication styles and skills appropriately in particular learning and spiritual care interactions:

  1. Using specialized knowledge from their theological and religious studies to consider the macro systems of intersecting social privileges or disadvantages within a care seeker’s current context
  2. Using an overarching orientation of post/decolonialism[x] to name the ways that colonialism exercises power over all aspects of ecological, transnational, political, and economic life
  3. Bringing post and decolonial orientations to understanding the impossibility of ‘doing no harm’ in a world organized by colonialism; bringing antiracist perspectives to understand that “there is no such thing as a non-racists or race-neutral policy [or idea]. Every policy in every institution in every community in every nation is producing or sustaining either racial inequity or equity between racial groups “(Kendo, 2020 p. 18). A
  4. Sharing lament through spiritual practices; interrogating and protesting inequities.


In weekly forum discussions and assignments, students report on how they are

Practicing Spiritual Self-Reflexivity

Spiritual reflexivity goes beyond theological reflection to understand how a chaplain’s/community faith leader’s and care seeker’s social, religious/spiritual identities interact in the process of exploring contextual intentional values and beliefs about suffering cocreated within relationships of trust in spiritual care, learning circles, and communities of faith. Reflexivity begins with identifying how one’s stress-oriented and intentional beliefs and values are shaped by one’s own intersecting social privileges and disadvantages. The next step is to use spiritual and social empathy to imagine the other’s stress-generated values and beliefs and how these are shaped by their social location. Calming practices help one identify core contextual values and beliefs about particular experiences of suffering and hope. Spiritual reflexivity includes understanding possible interactions among (1) one’s beliefs and values about the care receiver’s experience, one’s role as their chaplain or community faith leader, and one’s social location, (2) the care receiver’s beliefs and values about their experience, roles, and social location. Students use agential and receptive power in fine-tuning their communication styles/skills in listening to and guiding a search for meanings.


Learning outcomes for practicing spiritual self-reflexivity

The following are examples of learning outcomes for how students integrate key concepts in spiritual self-reflexivity using communication styles and skills appropriately in particular learning and spiritual care interaction

  1. Using key concepts from readings to understand develop contextual intentional values and beliefs about suffering/hope intrinsically and contextually meaningful given interacting social locations
  2. Using key concepts in readings to listen for how another’s social location and narratives might generate their stress-related embedded beliefs and values about particular kinds of suffering/hope
  3. Describing the process of co-creating contextual meanings and values through the process of spiritual care conversations. enhance self-differentiation in specific spiritual care and learning interactions


In weekly forum discussions and assignments, students report on how they are


Practicing research-literate spiritual care

Students in this course begin to develop research literacy by


Alumkal, A. (2017). Paranoid science: The Christian Right's war on reality. NYU Press.

Brewer, J. (2021). Unwinding anxiety: new science shows how to break the cycles of worry and fear to heal your mind. Penguin.

Chidester, D. (2014). Empire of religion: Imperialism and comparative religion. The University of Chicago Press.

Cornell, A. W. (2013). Something new, here and now: Breaking free of the habitual. Psychotherapy Networker, 37(6).

Doehring, C., & Kestenbaum, A. (In press). Introduction to interpersonal competencies. In S. Rambo & W. Cadge (Eds.), Introduction to chaplaincy and spiritual care. University of North Carolina Press.

Doehring, C., & Kestenbaum, A. (In press). Practicing socially just, interreligious, and evidence-based spiritual care In S. Rambo & W. Cadge (Eds.), Introduction to chaplaincy and spiritual care. University of North Carolina Press.

Gendlin, E.T. (1996) Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy: A manual of the experiential method. Guilford Press.

Graham, L. K. (1992). Care of persons, care of worlds: A psychosystems approach to pastoral care and counseling. Abingdon Press.

Graham, L. K. (2017). Moral injury: Restoring wounded souls. Abingdon Press.

Hammer, M. (2011). Additional cross-cultural validity testing of the intercultural development

inventory. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35, 474-487.

Hammer, M. R., Bennett, M. J., & Wiseman, R. (2003). Measuring intercultural sensitivity:

The intercultural development inventory. International Journal of Intercultural

Relations, 27(4), 421-443.

Lizardy-Hajbi, K. (2020). Frameworks toward post/decolonial pastoral leaderships. Journal of Religious Leadership. 19(2), 98-128.

Morgan, J., & Sandage, S. J. (2016). A developmental model of interreligious competence. Archiv für Religionspsychologie / Archive for the Psychology of Religion, 38(2), 129-158.

Pargament, K. (2007). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. Guilford Press.

Pargament, K., Desai, K. M., & McConnell, K. M. (2006). Spirituality: A pathway to posttraumatic growth or decline? In L. G. Calhoun & R. G. Tedeschi (Eds.), Handbook of posttraumatic growth: Research and practice (pp. 121-135). Erlbaum.

Trevino, K. M., Pargament, K., Krause, N., Ironson, G., & Hill, P. (2019). Stressful events and religious/spiritual struggle: Moderating effects of the general orienting system. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 11(3), 214-224.



[i] The goals are elaborated with a case study in Doehring and Kestenbaum (in press).

[ii] Building on developmental assessments of intercultural competency, Morgan and Sandage have proposed a theoretical model of interreligious competency (IRC) where people have a greater capacity for spiritual empathy and “complexity in understanding (a) one’s own religiosity, and (b) other religious perspectives.” Jonathan Morgan and Steven J. Sandage, "A Developmental Model of Interreligious Competence," Archiv für Religionspsychologie / Archive for the Psychology of Religion 38, no. 2 (2016): 144.

[iii] Psychiatrist Judson Brewer (2021) writes compelling about the ‘addiction’ of anxiety and how to use mindfulness practices to make last changes in how people cope with stress.

[iv] Eugene Gendlin describes a 'felt sense' of one's body in this way: “The felt sense is the wholistic [sic], implicit bodily sense of a complex situation” (Gendlin 1996, p. 58).  Ann Weiser Cornell defines it as: “A felt sense is a fresh, immediate, here-and-now experience that is actually the organism forming its next step in the situation the person is living in” (2013, p.11).

[v] Pargament, Desai, and McConnell (2006, p. 130) defines spiritual integration as “the extent to which spiritual beliefs, practices, and experiences are organized into a coherent whole.”

[vi] “For religious individuals, pluralism often presents a particularly radical confrontation with the constructed nature of one’s own meaning system. Nietzsche (1907) predicted that

 most people are not willing to accept the degree to which they construct cultural and religious meaning systems. Recognizing the cultural construction of belief often seems to imply the contingency and relativity of deeply held morals and values; therefore, people will often resist such self-awareness to limit existential anxiety. Since religious diversity can often force anxiety related to this recognition, it is perhaps not surprising that encounters with religious difference can lead to prejudice and even violence (Hunsberger & Jackson, 2005). Conversely, such encounters can also be powerfully transforming for individuals and even entire religious traditions (Wuthnow, 2007).  Ricoeur (1967) described a “second naïveté” where individuals have faced the contingency of their morals and values, but nevertheless re-engage their religious traditions with full, post-critical awareness of the ambiguity of such participation. A similar description of mature faith is given by Tillich (1951), and re-emphasized by Neville (2013), who both urge the acceptance of broken symbols, which never fully capture the sacred that they point to, yet nevertheless offer a means for engaging that ineffable ultimate. From these perspectives, religious diversity is no longer a threat but an opportunity for deeper engagement and personal commitment” (Morgan & Sandage, 2016, p. 133).

[vii] The Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS) uses The Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI; Hammer, 2011; Hammer, Bennett, & Wiseman, 2003) to assess development across this spectrum of responding to cultural differences.

[viii] When academic degree programs do not include courses in comparative studies of religion supporting interreligious practices, students and religious leaders may perpetuate spiritual harm through interreligious naivete. For an introduction to how comparative studies shape interreligious dialogue, see Paul Hedges, Controversies in Interreligious Dialogue and the Theology of Religions (London: SCM Press, 2010).

[ix]  One’s orienting system refers to stable values, beliefs, practices, and relationships that guide the individual toward the realization of significant purposes in life (Pargament, 2007).

“The orienting system is an individual’s “general way of viewing and dealing with the world”

(Pargament, 2001, p. 99). It is multidimensional and includes core beliefs (e.g., life is fair), behavioral practices (e.g., diet), emotionality (e.g., anger), social connections (e.g., relationships with family/friends), and R/S factors (e.g., relationship with God). Resources within the orienting system such as strong social support and a secure relationship with God may be particularly helpful in the context of stressful life events by lending guidance and stability, thereby reducing the impact of those events on distress (Pargament, 2001). However, burdens within the orienting system such as negative emotions and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are deficits that may increase distress after a disruptive life” (Trevino et al., 2019, p. 215).

[x] Lizardy-Hajbi uses the term “’post/decolonial’ in order to acknowledge both the separate contextual and theoretical streams from which challenges to coloniality have arisen in the literature, as well as to highlight their common foundational aims as critiques to colonial being-thinking-acting” Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, "Frameworks toward Post/Decolonial Pastoral Leaderships," Journal of Religious Leadership 19 no. 2 (2020): 98-128.

Week 1 Slides_ How the course works.pdf

Mandatory Week 5 Gathering Days: students must attend one of the gathering days sessions by zoom on Wednesday, Feb 9 from 1 - 5 p.m. or Thursday, Feb 10 from  8 a.m. – noon. The first thirty minutes of the synchronous zoom gathering will prepare students for their spiritual care zoom conversations. Then students will use the next hour or so to record their spiritual care zoom conversations. Then, students will return for the third hour, in which we will talk about suicide assessment and grief. Finally, in the last thirty minutes, everyone will access the iCloud recording of the zoom conversation in which they were spiritual caregivers and we'll go over how to generate a transcription, which you will use for the W6 Deep Listening Assignments. If your learning partner cannot join the same zoom session as you, you will need to arrange a time outside of one of these zoom sessions to record your conversations.

Wednesday 2/9 1-5

Tyler Orion and Robin Rose

Lex Dunbar & Mai Gross

Frances (Cassie Randolph) & Heather Mauney


Thursday 2/10 8 a.m. to noon

Ina Gorzig and Jax Perez

Angela Gilbert and Kelsey Ross

Haley Anderson & Zephry McConnell

Policies & Services: S ee the link on the left side menu for information about Iliff-wide course policies.

If this course makes you aware of sources of stress you'd like to work on with professional support, please see details about these professional services available for Iliff students:

If you feel like you need professional support, please know that you are eligible to receive free services from EAP (Employee Assistance Program).  All of Iliff students are enrolled in the EAP.  This is a comprehensive support service that provides counseling, coaching, and thousands of other resources. Regardless of where you live, you have access to this service!  Usually, an EAP service is provided for staff and faculty in higher education, but we have extended it to Iliff students! 

Here is a summary of their services, and you can find all of their available services and how to access them by clicking HERE (Links to an external site.):

Faculty: Carrie Doehring Email: Let know me if you have any questions. I am looking forward to our time together!

Doehring Photo.JPG

Jan 11, 2022TueWeek 1 Discussiondue by 06:59AM
Jan 14, 2022FriWeek 1 Responsedue by 06:59AM
Jan 18, 2022TueWeek 2 Discussiondue by 06:59AM
Jan 21, 2022FriWeek 2 Responsedue by 06:59AM
Jan 25, 2022TueWeek 3 Discussiondue by 06:59AM
Jan 28, 2022FriWeek 3 Responsedue by 06:59AM
Feb 01, 2022TueWeek 4 Discussiondue by 06:59AM
Feb 04, 2022FriWeek 4 Responsedue by 06:59AM
Feb 18, 2022FriWeek 6 Assignment: Assessing Deep Listening and Self-Differentiationdue by 06:59AM
Feb 18, 2022FriPosting the link to your zoom caregiver conversationdue by 06:59AM
Feb 22, 2022TueWeek 7 Discussiondue by 06:59AM
Feb 24, 2022ThuWeek 7 Assignment: Posting the link to your zoom conversationdue by 06:59AM
Feb 25, 2022FriWeek 7 Responsedue by 06:59AM
Mar 04, 2022FriWeek 8: Spiritual Care Assignment (25% of your grade)due by 06:59AM
Mar 08, 2022TueWeek 9 Discussiondue by 06:59AM
Mar 11, 2022FriWeek 9 Responsedue by 06:59AM
Mar 15, 2022TueWeek 10 Discussiondue by 05:59AM
Mar 18, 2022FriWeek 10 Responsedue by 05:59AM