The Ministry of Pastoral Care

MS 3XC3/5XC5/6XC6

Fall 2023
Tues 11:00am - 12:50pm

Pastoral care involves shaping human values, cultivating authentic spiritual community, and alleviating human suffering. Pastoral theologian C.W. Brister suggests that such work requires “theological wisdom, moral clarity and personal courage.” The search for such wisdom, clarity and courage will guide the aims of this course. The practices of pastoral care in a variety of ministry contexts will be explored in depth. Participants will be invited to explore their own framework for moral vision, to articulate a vision of pastoral care for their own ministry context, and to prepare themselves for a deeper participation in the care of others.


  • To explore the foundational theological themes of compassion, hope and communion as a framework for the ministry of pastoral care.
  • To acquire a heightened understanding of pastoral care in various situations.
  • To widen the horizons of pastoral concern to include the social dimensions of care.


  • To grow in spiritual vision and compassion for others.
  • To gain confidence in one’s own capacity for pastoral intervention in crisis situations.


  • To formulate a paradigm for sustained pastoral care with those in need.
  • To practice intervention strategies in common situations requiring pastoral care.
  • To grow in skills of empathy, listening, and consolation.