Introduction to Pastoral Care

Online: August 7 – September 25, 2017
In person: Saturday, Sept. 9 at St. John’s School of Theology in Collegeville, AND Saturday, October 7, Location TBA

Instructors: Dr. Mark Sundby, Dr. Krista Redlinger-Grosse, and Dr. Pat Veach

This course will investigate resources, methods, and approaches to pastoral care ministry on the basis of an understanding of God and human experience. Pastoral care issues will be addressed with attention to the variety of contexts in which ministry occurs. We will use a multi-systems perspective that includes family dynamics, congregational culture, and social context. Students will consider how their own social location and family of origin inform their style of pastoral ministry. Family systems theory will then frame a critical examination of pastoral care.

Required books and materials

  • 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.

Cost: $300

Registration info coming soon.