Pastoral Counselling Theory


Fall 2022
Wed 9:00am - 10:50am

This course will examine the theory and practice of spiritual care and counselling in the context of Christian ministry and non-ecclesial settings (e.g., a counselling practice, chaplaincy & spiritual care). The course which moves from a general understanding of counselling theory, to the use of Solution-Focused counselling/therapy and Narrative counselling/therapy in the practice of pastoral and clinical counselling. Students will be invited to develop their practice skills, examine this theory in light of topics of interest or concern that are relevant to the student’s practice of ministry, and to reflect theologically on the practice of spiritual care and counselling.


  • To recognize and describe the basic helping skills for counselling.
  • To learn a basic framework for short-term structured counselling.


  • To recognize personal and professional limits, including when to make referrals and consultations.


  • To demonstrate an ability to work within a counselling framework that is based upon established psychotherapeutic theory.
  • To encounter a counsellee/client through dialogue, observation, and emotional understanding.
  • To engage and focus on the counsellee’s/client’s experience.
  • To hear the themes and concerns in the counsellee’s/client’s life by means of listening to their story.
  • To integrate knowledge of psychotherapy into one’s counselling practice.

Note: These learning objectives are co-ordinated with the expected competencies for CASC/ACSS certified chaplains and pastoral counsellors and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).