Pastoral Care

Pastoral care courses are offered from the perspective of the church-based minister rather than the clinic-based specialist. They help students combine reflective self-understanding, spiritual formation, pastoral care theory, and ministerial practice by drawing on the rich historic traditions of soul care found in the writings of the church and on observation and understanding from both biblical revelation and well-grounded social science ­exploration.

Objectives for students

  • Describe the most common spiritual, mental health, and relational issues encountered in a church or other ministry context;
  • Plan appropriate strategies of care and guidance for these issues, whether within the church structure or by referral to other professionals;
  • Attain insight into how their own spiritual, mental, emotional, theological, and cultural formation affects the ministry they offer to those in need;
  • Practice contextualization and theological reflection with regard to issues of human need and pastoral care, for both the purposes of offering personal guidance and developing preventive community strategies, paying particular attention to the distinctives (e.g., geographic, demographic, socioeconomic, and ethnic factors) found within a particular ministry setting.

Pastoral Care

PC 512 • Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling 3 Credits

Preparation for effective care of self, others, and the larger society. Evaluation of resources available through faith, science, church and the community to meet the needs of persons, families, and groups, including those with frequently present critical needs. Reflection on both pastoral care and counseling and consideration of the impact that culture and ethnicity have on those relationships.
Prerequisites: SP 510.

PC 563A • Professional Internship A 1 Credit

This course is for Saint Paul students who wish to include CPE experience as part of their professional internship experience. Students participate in a total of 600-hours of ministry service in an accredited ACPE center (400/440-hours) and an approved non-chaplaincy setting (200- hours). Students contract with a CPE site for a supervised experience in a hospital, hospice site, elder care facility, homeless shelter, or affiliated CPE chaplaincy site.
Prerequisites: TL 001, TL 561, PC 512. Special Notes: Supervisory fees are paid directly to the CPE center; this fee is deducted from the Bethel Seminary charges for course credits for PC563A-B. Students complete the required internship hours in a secondary non-chaplaincy setting such as a church or non-profit ministry setting.

PC 563B • Professional Internship B 1 Credit

This course is for Saint Paul students who wish to include CPE experience as part of their professional internship experience. Students participate in a total of 600-hours of ministry service in an accredited ACPE center (400/440-hours) and an approved non-chaplaincy setting (200- hours). Students contract with a CPE site for a supervised experience in a hospital, hospice site, elder care facility, homeless shelter, or affiliated CPE chaplaincy site.
Prerequisites: TL 001, TL 561, PC 512. Special Notes: Supervisory fees are paid directly to the CPE center; this fee is deducted from the Bethel Seminary charges for course credits for PC563A-B. Students complete the required internship hours in a secondary non-chaplaincy setting such as a church or non-profit ministry setting.

PC 566A • Chaplaincy Internship A 1.5 Credits

This course provides students opportunity to intern in the work of chaplaincy. Students complete a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (a total of 400-440 hours of ministry and reflection) in a CPE center accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Students contract with a CPE site for a supervised experience in a hospital, hospice site, elder care facility, homeless shelter, or other accredited CPE site.
Prerequisites: For MA students, Formation Assessments, Vocational Assessments, SP 510, and PC 512; For MDiv students, Formation Assessments, Vocational Assessments, SP 510, PC 512. CPE site fees are paid directly to the CPE center. These fees are reimbursed to students at the completion of the CPE unit with the submission of a valid invoice or receipt documenting the amount paid to the CPE site. Special Notes: Internship should be taken in the student's final year. Registration by permission of the Director of Supervised Ministry/Internship.

PC 566B • Chaplaincy Internship B 1.5 Credits

This course provides students opportunity to intern in the work of chaplaincy. Students complete a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (a total of 400-440 hours of ministry and reflection) in a CPE center accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). Students contract with a CPE site for a supervised experience in a hospital, hospice site, elder care facility, homeless shelter, or other accredited CPE site.
Prerequisites: For MA and MDiv students, PC 566A. Special Notes: Internship should be taken in the student's final year.

PC 600 • Principles of Counseling 1.5,3 Credits

This course is designed to provide a foundation of basic skills for people who would like to enhance their therapy and pastoral care abilities. It combines theoretical understanding and hands-on practice of essential counseling microskills and can serve as the prerequisite counseling course for people transferring to the M.A.M.F.T. program.

PC 607YL • The Minister as Person (Young Life Staff Training) 3 Credits

This course is designed to equip individual to lead an incarnational youth ministry with effective discipleship of young people. Building volunteer teams for ministry is also an important element of the course. Focus is given to spiritual development of the student, the ministry of discipleship, development of volunteer teams for ministry, fundraising and administration. The role of camping ministry and its implications for discipleship is also emphasized.

PC 611 • Prof Chaplaincy in Contemp Soc 1.5,3 Credits

This course examines the diverse and expanding roles of the professional chaplain in contemporary society. This course is designed to ground students in the theology and basic theories relevant for professional chaplaincy, ultimately equipping students for institutional ministry in light of their own pastoral identity and giftedness. Students will learn essential skills for compassionate pastoral/spiritual care in a variety of ministry contexts, and their understanding of incarnational ministry will be deepened.

PC 632 • Pastoral Care of Children and Families 1.5,3 Credits

This course provides students the theological, theoretical, and practical applications necessary for providing effective pastoral care to children and families. A variety of issues facing children and families are explored. The helping relationship and helping skills are practiced. Emphasis will be placed on the personal and professional self-understanding of the pastor. This course will invite students to process their own family of origin and gain an understanding of family systems and how these elements impact the provision of pastoral care.

PC 652 • Christian Spiritual Life: Henri Nouwen 1.5,3 Credits

A study of major themes in the thought of Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), internationally one of the most influential Christian spiritual writers of our generation. The emphasis is on primary sources, set in the framework of his life and development, and complemented by reflections from the instructor, who served as a teaching fellow with Nouwen during his Harvard years (1983-1985). The goal is for this experience to provide critical insights and personal values that illuminate and encourage our lives as beloved and faithful children of the Lord.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with SP 652 and HS 652.

PC 670 • Directed Study in Pastoral Care and Counseling 1-9 Credits

Research and study by arrangement with the professor.
Special Notes: Permission is required.

PC 705 • Clinical Pastoral Education 1-3 Credits

Students contract under an accredited CPE center for one unit of CPE, a 400-hour supervised experience, usually in a hospital or nursing care center. CPE is particularly important for persons who plan to enter chaplaincy posts of various kinds, but it is also applicable to many other ministry settings. The credits may be applied as pastoral care electives but may not be applied to professional internship requirements.
Prerequisites: PC 512. CPE site fees are paid directly to the CPE center. These fees are reimbursed to students at the completion of the CPE unit with the submission of a valid invoice or receipt documenting the amount paid to the CPE site. Grade exceptions: This course is Pass/Fail. Special Notes: A passing grade will be assigned when the Office of the Registrar receives, from the student, a notarized copy of the ACPE Certificate of Completion.

PC 710 • Pastoral Care of Youth 1.5,3 Credits

Students with strong interest in youth ministry focus on social, psychological, and spiritual issues of that developmental age group. Includes discussion of youth culture, youth identity crises, drug abuse, rebellion, evangelism, vocational issues, sex education, and parent-child conflict.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with DC 710.

PC 711 • Marriage, Pre-Marriage and Family Counseling 1.5,3 Credits

Gives ministry students an overview of basic principles involved in marriage and family counseling for use in church, not clinical settings. Focuses on short-term counseling methodology.

PC 714 • Developing Spiritually Healthy Families 1.5,3 Credits

In this course, students examine the theological bases for biblical parenting as well as current educational theory concerning effective and dysfunctional parenting behaviors. Since the American culture has become a hostile environment for Christian families, students also are explosed to typical issues that confront Christian parents and, through practical applications, are prepared to promote the emotional and spiritual well being of church families, including their own.

PC 720 • Cross-Cultural Counseling 1.5,3 Credits

Explores the role of the belief system in a variety of cultures from a psycho-social-theological perspective. The processes of self-examination, inquiry, and formulating counseling paradigms are examined to gain insights that can be generalized to other belief systems. Students explore the psychological effects of racism as factors used in counseling of the perpetrator, benefactor, and victim.

PC 723 • Counseling Through the Experience of Grief and Loss 1.5,3 Credits

Students explore their own losses, as well as the literature addressing bereavement, for purposes of counseling and pastoral care. Small group processing, as well as larger class discussion, involve the student in preparation for dealing with this topic on all kinds of levels in church and community.

PC 729 • Chaplaincy in Contemporary Society 1.5,3 Credits

This course examines the diverse and expanding roles of the professional chaplain in contemporary society. It also examines the basic elements of counseling theory, comparing secular and Christian examples of theory and practice. The overall purpose of the course is to ground the student in the theology and basic theories relevant for a professional institutional pastoral care ministry in faith, multi-faith, and/or secular contexts including denominations, hospital/medical care, the armed services, and police and/or fire departments, as well as business and industry.

PC 742 • Ministering to Families 1.5,3 Credits

Sees the modern family as an object of study with the objective of creating prevention-oriented educational ministries in churches. Studies issues such as divorce, crime, sexual issues, unemployment, social mobility, and disintegrating social/family norms and sanctions, and plans ways of educating church attendees in order to help them more successfully manage in today's world.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with DC 742.

PC 745 • Family Systems 1.5,3 Credits

This course discusses basic family dynamics with special emphasis on encouraging students to develop a congruent theological and theoretical perspective on families. Relevant family topics are addressed with opportunities for students to apply theoretical principles to actual family situations, including their own. Special attention is given to a family’s interaction with the institutional church and ways in which pastors can minister more effectively to a broad range of families.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with DC 745.

PC 751 • Seminar in Preaching 1.5,3 Credits

A Masters Degree elective course; an in-depth study of a particular pastoral care theme.

PC 754 • Perspectives on Evil and Suffering 1.5,3 Credits

This course explores two distinct approaches to suffering and evil. Theologians, philosophers, and apologists try to explain why evil exists in a world created by a good God. Pastoral theologians and counselors attempt to help people who are suffering. Course participants attempt integration of the categories, resources, and responses typical of these two areas as they seek answers to the question, "What can theologians and caregivers learn from each other? .
Prerequisites: TS 512 Special Notes: Crosslisted with TS 754 and PH 754.

PC 755 • Family Systems 1.5,3 Credits

This course discusses basic family dynamics with special emphasis on encouraging students to develop a congruent theological and theoretical perspective on families. Relevant family topics are addressed with opportunities for students to apply theoretical principles to actual family situations, including their own. Special attention is given to a family’s interaction with the institutional church and ways in which pastors can minister more effectively to a broad range of families.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with DC 755.

PC 759 • Growing through Small Groups 1.5,3 Credits

Examines the need for small groups within congregational life, strategies for forming groups, leading groups, how they provide the basic needs of pastoral care, and how they become the essential building block for growing a missional church.
Special Notes: Crosslisted with DC 759 and ML759.

PC 815 • CFC/CL Topics in Pastoral Care 3 Credits

Concentration content course to fulfill DMin requirement for either Congregation and Family Care or Church Leadership.
Special Notes: This course will fulfill concentration requirements for CFC or CL concentration students or an elective requirement for other concentrations.

PC 815P • CFC/CL Project Pastoral Care 3 Credits

Concentration project course to fulfill DMin requirement for either Congregation and Family Care or Church Leadership.
Prerequisites: PC 815. Special Notes: This course will fulfill concentration requirements for CFC or CL concentration students or an elective requirement for other concentrations.

PC 820 • Understanding and Managing Conflict: A Systems Approach 3 Credits

Concentration content course to fulfill DMin requirement when paired with the corresponding project course, PC 820P. Concentration topic varies based on scheduling and student interest.

PC 820P • Understanding and Managing Conflict: Project 3 Credits

Concentration project course to fulfill DMin requirement.
Prerequisites: PC 820.

PC 862 • Topics in Pastoral Care 3 Credits

Concentration content course to fulfill DMin requirement when paired with the corresponding project course, PC 862P. Concentration topic varies based on scheduling and student interest.

PC 862P • Project in Pastoral Care 3 Credits

Concentration project course to fulfill DMin requirement.
Prerequisites: PC 862.

PC 870 • Directed Study in Pastoral Care 1-9 Credits

Research and study by arrangement with the professor. Permission is required.

PC 870P • Independent Study in Pastoral Care Project 1-9 Credits

Research and study by arrangement with the professor.
Special Notes: Permission is required.

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