Spiritual Care And Counselling

MS 3XC3/6XC6

Winter 2018
Mon 3:30 - 5:20 PM

For much of the twentieth century there were those within the mainstream or secular counselling movement who perceived the work of spiritual care and the task of counselling as distinct and separate disciplines. Although this perspective constituted a major voice within the field there have been other voices who have put forward other perspectives. Within the APA, for example, there is a growing recognition of the importance of spirituality in people’s lives that is producing a robust literature base related to the role of spirituality and spiritual interventions in counselling. A range of approaches to the intersection of spiritual care and the practice of counselling have emerged within the Christian community. These approaches include Christian psychology (which draws on the writings and wisdom of the Christian tradition), integrationists who seek to integrate psychology and theology, theological reflection on the human condition, and biblical counselling. This course is designed to support students to develop their own understanding of the intersection between the work of spiritual care and the task of counselling. Through assigned readings, case studies, and written work students will reflect on a number of key issues or concerns that are likely to appear in the course of a person’s work as a spiritual caregiver, pastor, or counsellor.



  • To gain a bio-psychosocial-spiritual perspective on the work of spiritual care and counselling.
  • To gain facility with current research and literature on a topic relevant to the student’s current or future area of ministry or work.



  • To be able to assess the impact of one’s own spirituality, beliefs, values, assumptions and power dynamics on their relationships with others.



  • To be able to use a relational approach to assessment and care that sensitively encounters others and engages them in their healing process.
  • To be able to understand a person’s source(s) of spiritual strength, hope, methods of coping, needs, risks and wellness goals.
  • To be able to conduct a differential assessment of a person’s situation or needs using theological, socio-cultural and psychological frameworks.
  • To be able to co-develop a spiritual care plan with the counsellee.
  • To be able to provide a variety of interventions and approaches to spiritual care that are related to the needs assessment.