Introduction to Pastoral Care: Communication and Connectedness

Online: November 2 – December 21, 2020
Monday, November 9, 5:30-7pm
Monday, November 23, 5:30-7pm
Monday, December 7, 5:30-7pm
Monday, December 14, 5:30-7pm
*Please note, these are subject to change, based on conversation between the instructor and those enrolled in the course.

Instructor in partnership with Leaderwise: The Rev. Dr. Cindy Halvorson

From serving lasagna at the potluck to praying at a hospital bedside, pastoral care happens in contexts that are the most mundane, and the most critical, in our faith communities. This course is designed to introduce you to pastoral care and the issues that commonly arise in pastoral ministry.  Our goal is to address topics that are directly relevant and applicable to your real-life ministry work.  Through readings, discussion, and self-reflective exercises, you will:

  • Increase your understanding of the essence of pastoral care.
  • Identify theological, scientific and awareness resources for future use in pastoral care
  • Deepen self-reflection awareness and skills needed to provide thoughtful pastoral care

Required Texts:

  • Bible – New Standard Revised Version (NSRV)
  • Barter, Dominic (2009, Nov) “Empathy is like a superfood.” Retrieved from: 
  • Roberts, S. (Ed). (2012). Professional spiritual and pastoral care: A practical clergy and chaplain’s handbook. Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths.*Note: This book was written for clergy and chaplains and provides supportive and concrete resources for both contexts. Throughout the book, we recognize the term “chaplain” is used in contexts that are also applicable to clergy. So, you should read with an eye for connections between the two.
  • Tillich, P. (1948). You are Accepted.” In Tillich, P. Shaking of the Foundations. New York City: C. Scribner Sons. Note: Copies of this sermon can be located in several sites on the internet. Please let us know if you need assistance in locating.

How (if at all) have your views changed about pastoral care?

“I believe that my views on Pastoral Care were both reinforced and expanded as a result of this course. Reinforced because I knew, that in Pastoral Care, it is required that the focus be on the other and where they are on their spiritual journey. Expanded from the very generous sharing from all of the experiences that were discussed, the questions that were asked, the doubts expressed, and the pastoral hearts that were exposed by everyone participating.”

– 2017 student