This module will explore from a biblical and theological basis the basic principles and practices of Christian pastoral care, using biblical text, historical examples and contemporary case studies.
Spiritual and pastoral caring can be described as the expression of the love of God towards others, in action and relationship, communally and individually.
Accordingly pastoral care will be introduced as a ministry of faith, hope and love, based on the cardinal virtues which seeks to:
- enable trustfulness and nourish faith
- strengthen hopefulness by encouragement
- build personal affirmation by acts and attitudes of faithful love.
Such dispositions as:
- imaginative compassion
- thoughtful accompaniment
- affective empathy
- generous inclusiveness
- consistent faithfulness
- vocational integrity
- confidentiality and discretion
will be considered as those qualities which create and sustain the relational and communal environment from which Christian pastoral practices grow.
The specific areas of Pastoral Practice which will be discussed include:
- accompanying the dying and bereaved
- care for the depressed person
- celebrating love and marriage
- incarnational visitation
- pastoral prayer
- spiritual friendship
- means of grace such as Bible, public worship, Holy Communion and baptism.