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Pastoral Care


Semester 1 every year

On-campus, Online live, Online recordings

Level 6, Level 7, Level 8


Karl Hood

Is this unit for you?

Caring for others is a fundamental dimension of the Christian life. This unit is for you if you want to expand your understanding of the human condition and the desires and attitudes that drive us, and to develop ways of helping and bringing change. 

What you will learn

You will look at a history of pastoral care; special revelation and common grace; a biblical-theological model of the person, life, change, and helping relationships; care and change in Christian community; an integrated approach to physiological issues; an introduction to a Christocentric approach to a range of basic difficulties that are common to many life stages—suffering, anger, anxiety and fear, conflict and reconciliation, and, marriage and family issues. 

Unit content

Section A: Biblical and Theological Perspectives

1. Biblical and theological perspectives on the nature of persons and groups; the human predicament; salvation and wholeness.
2. Biblical patterns and models of pastoral care, including the roles of the people of God as a caring community.
3. The maturity theme, individual and corporate, within the New Testament; the relationships between pastor-teacher functions and pastoral care functions; proactive and reactive styles.
4. An overview of the history of pastoral care; the integration of insights from the social sciences.

Section B: Pastoral Care in the Stages of Life

1. The distinction between pastoral care and pastoral counselling; the relationship between pastoral care and the regular life of the church, including Christian education and liturgy.
2. Caring for the carers; supervision; support groups; the role of the church and church leadership.
3. Pastoral care in major life-stages and transition; common crises of life in childhood, youth, early adulthood, middle age, old age, with attention to Christian initiation and nurture.
4. Pastoral care of families and single people; preparation for marriage; vocational guidance.
5. An introduction to cross-cultural factors in pastoral care; family patterns in various cultures and sub-cultures.


  • 3 lecture hours per week with class discussion
  • Assignments


  • Michael R. Emlet, CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet (Greensboro: New Growth, 2009).
  • David Powlison, Seeing with New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition through the Lens of Scripture (Phillipsburg: P & R, 2003).
  • David Powlison, Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community (Greensboro: New Growth, 2005).
  • Edward T. Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man (Phillipsburg: P & R, 1997).


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The National Centre for Biblical Counselling is a centre of PTC, a Reformed, evangelical Bible college training people for ministry and mission

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