Pastoral Theology & Care

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IST 2012 Introduction to Pastoral Theology and Care (Fall Quarter 2019, residential)

Course Description

This course is an invitation to examine your sense of self and vocational identity in relation to your personal and collective experiences and locations. The course offers a variety of theological and psychological perspectives and tools to help you develop confidence in responding to various circumstances of pastoral care and counseling in the context of parish ministry and other institutional settings.

Learning Goals

As a result of having taken this course, you will:

  1. Articulate a working understanding of the nature and tasks of pastoral theology and care.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to listen empathically to those in need of pastoral/spiritual care and respond to their concrete situations in a contextually sensitive way.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of your own gifts, strengths, and growing edges for pastoral ministry.
  4. Locate your own particular scholarly and practical interests within the field of pastoral theology and care.

Degree Learning Goal

Theology and Religious Practices (PR): engage in analysis of contemporary religious traditions and institutions in order to assess, design, and perform meaningful leadership practices with sensitivity to contextual realities and relationships ( Master’s Student Handbook , 2016-2017, p. 5).


Required books:

Doehring, C. (2015). The Practice of Pastoral Care: A Postmodern Approach. Revised and expanded edition. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.

Dykstra, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press. (This book is available as an e-book through Primo; if you prefer, you may purchase a hard copy).

Wolterstorff, N. (1987) . Lament for a Son. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans.

Additional required readings will be available as PDFs or as electronic resources through our library.

***Syllabus in Word Format

Course Overview


Course Objectives


Sep 12, 2019ThuReadings Week 1due by 07:00PM
Oct 11, 2019FriThe Caregiver as Interpreter of Storiesdue by 05:59AM
Oct 12, 2019SatRole Playdue by 05:59AM