Pastoral Care of Couples & Families

IST 3123 Pastoral Care of Couples & Families

Winter Quarter 2019 (residential)

Instructor: Rev. Dr. Rubén Arjona

Course Description

This course examines various theories, methods, and theologies for the pastoral care and counseling of couples and families. The course encourages the students’ self-reflection on their families of origin as a source of insight for the care of others. Topics include pre-marital counseling, the care of heterosexual and queer couples, and the pastoral accompaniment of children, adolescents, single adults, and the elderly.

Learning Goals.

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

  1. Demonstrate the ability to map genograms with accuracy and use them pertinently in counseling with couples and families.
  2. Demonstrate insight into the core dynamics of your family of origin and an understanding of how your family of origin influences your personal self-understanding and vocational identity.
  3. Demonstrate a working knowledge of key theological and psychological theories and insights for the care of couples and families and the ability to apply these in pastoral care situations.

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:

Brown, Jaye Robin (2018). Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit. New York: HarperCollins.

Castillo, Ana. (2016). Black Dove: Mamá, Mi'jo, and Me. New York: Feminist Press.

Culbertson, Philip. (2000). Caring for God's People: Counseling and Christian Wholeness. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Gilbert, Roberta M. (2013). The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory: A New Way of Thinking About The Individual and The Group . Lake Frederick, VA: Leading Systems Press.

Miller, Martin (2018). The True "Drama of the Gifted Child": The Phantom Alice Miller-The Real Person. Columbia, SC: Martin Miller.


Mar 13, 2019WedAttendance & Participationdue by 05:59AM
Mar 15, 2019FriGenogram (interview, diagram, individual reflection paper)due by 05:59AM