Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

A Commitment of the Evangelical Catholic Church for Academic Formation

Est. 2006





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Saint John the Evangelist Seminary


PS 502: Pastoral Counseling (2CH)

Course Syllabus



Instructor TBA



Course Description

This core pastoral counseling course is designed to introduce ministers to the basic counseling skills needed in pastoral ministry. Course topics include paradigms of pastoral counseling, problems most commonly encountered, understanding your own natural style, when to help and when to refer, and developing a network of trusted referral resources.


Course Goals
1. Understand the unique function of pastoral counseling, in the light of Scripture, the real life needs of people and the context of other types of help available from inside and outside the church.
2. Be exposed to some examples of problems and issues commonly faced by a minister in a local church.
3. Be exposed to some basic practical requirements for effective counseling: relationship skills, self-awareness, boundaries, tools and resources.

Course Objectives

*to gain an introductory knowledge of counseling in ministry
*to learn the basis skills of helping people change
*to conceptualize a helping relationship

*to recognize one’s own abilities and skills in counseling
*to be able to use change skills on self and others
*to model emotional and relational health

Required Texts
Kollar, Charles. 1997. Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Duncan, Barry. 2005. What’s Right With You. Dearfeald Beach: Health Communications, Inc.

Course Requirements


1. Read Kollar and be prepared to discuss in class on assigned dates. Provide 8-10 main learning points for both part I and II.
2. Read professor handouts at mastery level and write 3-5 bullet “take-a-ways” from each article.
3. Read Duncan’s book and write a 4 page critical integration of how the concepts in the book will/or will not fit into your present or future ministry context.

Observations and Reports

1. Interview 3 pastors (not from your church and who have been in ministry at least 5 years) concerning their experience, perceptions and view of pastoral counseling. Write a 3 page paper summarizing your observations and conclusions of these interviews.

2. Engage in a “pastoral counseling” conversation with 1 person for at least 3 sessions spanning a period of at least 3 weeks. After each session write a 1-2 page review of each session – what you did well, what you would do differently, etc.

Written Work

1. Write a proposed personal policy statement concerning your counseling ministry. Prepare as if it is the statement you would give to people who approach you for pastoral counseling.

2. Write a 2 page critical review of your learning experience
-include all materials
-include initial expectations, goals
-how has class impacted your view and practice of pastoral counseling

Final Project TBA


Belkin, Gary Introduction To Counseling chaps 3-6
Benjamin, Alfred The Helping Interview all
Bolton, Robert People Skills chaps 2-7
Borck & Fawcett Learning Counseling & Problem Solving Skills chaps 1-8
Brammer, Lawrence The Helping Relationship all
Carkhuff, Robert The Skills Of Helping all
Carkhuff & Pierce The Art Of Helping III: Training Guide all
Cormier & Cormier Interviewing Strategies For Helpers chaps 2-5
Egan, Gerald The Skilled Helper all
Evans, D. Essential Interviewing chaps 1-6
Gazda, George Human Relations Development all
Ivey & Ivey Intentional Interviewing & Counseling all
Kleinke, Chris Common Principles Of Psychotherapy all
Long, Vonda Olson Communication Skills In Helping Relationships all
Martin, David Counseling And Therapy Skills chaps 1-8
Meir & David The Elements Of Counseling all
Nelson-Jones Lifeskills Helping all
Okun, Barbara Effective Helping chaps 1-4
Parsons, Richard The Skills Of Helping chaps 1-7
Pedersen, Paul Culture-Centered Counseling & interviewing all
Scisson, Edward Counseling For Results chaps 5-12


Anderson, etc. Christ Centered Therapy
Backus, William Telling The Truth To Troubled People
Buchanan, Duncan The Counseling Of Jesus
Clinebell, Howard Basic Types Of Pastoral Care & Counseling
Collins, Gary The Biblical Basis Of Christian Counseling For People Helpers
Dayringer, Richard The Heart Of Pastoral Counseling
Hart, Gulbranson Mastering Pastoral Counseling
Jordan, Merle Taking On The Gods
Kok & Jongsma The Pastoral Counseling Treatment Planner
Miller & Jackson Practical Psychology For Pastors
Oden, Thomas Classical Pastoral Care, Vol. III Pastoral Counsel
Schmidt, Jerry Do You Hear What You’re Thinking?
Wick, Parson, Capps Clinical Handbook Of Pastoral Counseling
Wright, Norman Self-talk, Imagery, And Prayer In Counseling


Saint John the Evangelist Seminary
An Online Academic Program



The Evangelical Catholic Church: A Welcoming Community of Faith Rooted in the Catholic Tradition

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