Pastoral Care and Ethics

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This course is intended to contribute to the ethical development of persons who minister (e.g., pastors), spiritual care workers (chaplains), and professional counsellors. This course is designed to offer the participant a foundational knowledge of the field of professional ethics, the process of ethical decisional making and, hence, to contribute to the student’s overall ethical development. This course will provide students with opportunities to explore the nature of professional and pastoral relationships and integrate their own personal values into their understanding of ethics. The student will read in the field of professional ethics, reflect on specific codes of ethics (e.g., CRPO, CASC/ACSS, code of ethics denominational or other professional code of ethics) and reflect on relevant legislation. Through reflect on pertinent case examples students will develop ethical reasoning skills to help them make informed decisions with respect to the interests of clients, families, agencies, and others. Students are expected to reflect on their own personal and professional experience. 


  • The student will familiarize themselves with the relevant code of ethics governing pastoral practice within their denomination.
  •  The student will be familiar with the processes of ethical decision-making in a ministry context.
  • The student will understand the differences between “ethical concerns,” “moral issues,” and “legality.”


  • The student will become self-aware of how their values shape their response to ethical concerns that arise during the practice of ministry


  • The student will engage in ethical decision-making with respect to situations that arise within a ministry context.
  • The student will be able to support or guide others in the process of ethical decision-making.