Offered every year
This class explores pastoral counselling in the context of pastoral care from a family systems perspective. It aims to integrate pastoral counseling as part of shepherding a congregation. Included are training in empathetic listening and reflection skills, an overview of key issues and topics (i.e., suicide prevention, crisis intervention, ethics, domestic violence and child abuse), training in premarital counseling and assessment, and a survey of common mental disorders encountered by pastors (i.e., depression, stress/anxiety, substance abuse, chronic mental illness). The course includes a substantial experiential component, including skills practice, and personal and systemic theological reflection about our beliefs, family relationships, and emotional health in the Church.