This course introduces students to the art of pastoral counseling. It provides a historical review of the four pastoral functions of healing, sustaining, guiding, and reconciling. It develops a detailed theology of pastoral ministry that students may use as a basis for their own practice of ministry. It also introduces the student to the practice of pastoral care by showing how this activity is rooted in the caring community.
This course introduces the student to practice of pastoral care. It provides an understanding of individuals as persons (Maslow); and it explores the role of family dynamics in congregations (Friedman). The ethics of pastoral care are examined through the study of five hermeneutical principles that show how the Bible may be used to address ethical issues. Additional core issues this class explores are race, class, gender, ethnicity, and religious pluralism.
COUNSELING THE BEREAVED
This course introduces the student to the theology of grief and provides a conceptual base for counseling the bereaved. We will study grief theory and examine the work of grief. We will discovery how faith development, family dynamics, and our own responses to issues of suffering, dying, death and grief impact our pastoral presence and response. We will also practice active and reflective listening skills through use of case studies and video offerings.
COUNSELING ADDICTED PERSONS
Responding to the national movement within the Church to empower congregations to effectively deal with addiction in their communities, this course will help both clergy and lay persons develop core competencies to address this growing crisis. We will consider the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of both addiction and recovery. Effective pastoral responses and interventions to addiction will be taught. How to develop familiarity with available community resources will also be explored.
The goal of the course is to educate and help clergy and lay persons transform their congregations into informed and caring communities of faith that welcome and support persons and families affected by alcohol and substance abuse.
Women trapped by domestic violence face distinct challenges in finding safety for themselves and their children. In this class, we will learn the dynamics of domestic violence, and gain awareness regarding the social, cultural, legal, economic and health issues that impact battered women. We will review and evaluate our understanding of theology and the role of the church in light of these issues – in order to become prophetic voices for the safety of women and children in our churches and communities.
SPIRITUALITY AND SEXUALITY
This course invites students to articulate a sexual ethic that is rooted in a theology of the body. The evolution of the mind-body-sexual split is studied. The course seeks to help students to develop a God-centered understanding of the body in relation to Scripture, Church tradition, history, and contemporary social reality.
EDUCATION FOR PASTORAL CARE
Supervised Education for Pastoral Care (EPC) is a self-directed learning program designed to provide the resources to attain a twofold goal. First is the development of personal and pastoral identity and the growth of professional competence as a chaplain. Second is the development of professional knowledge and competency in order to provide pastoral care and counseling to people in their life situations.
This course engages students in the theological discipline that deals with the preparation, construction, and delivery of sermons. Students are taught how to exegete Biblical texts and apply them to contemporary circumstances. Students are expected to write and preach their own sermons and receive constructive criticism from fellow students and the instructor.