This course develops the student’s ability to engage in chaplaincy in various situations and among different kinds of people. At the end of the course, the student will be able to assess a patient’s faith development in a pluralistic setting and contextualize a pastoral care approach. The student will effectively compose pastoral care questions. The student will understand how to identify the unspoken needs of another person and guide them through difficult emotional situations. Finally, the student will choose and defend a pastoral care approach.
The course is intended to equip ministers in basic types of pastoral care in a pluralistic environment. The student will employ a clinical model of learning where he or she learns theoretical knowledge, applies the new information, reflects on the experience, and then the student reapplies with a refined approach.
The beauty about chaplaincy is that it is a helping profession that goes out to people while some others wait for clients or those in need to come. The purpose of this class is to equip ministers as they go out and serve the spiritual needs of others. Most ministers will feel incompetent to engage with those who present complex spiritual needs. This class will teach students how to employ basic forms of pastoral care in a pluralistic healthcare environment.
Biblical – The biblical concept that supports this class is the incarnation of Christ. Jesus told his disciples in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” As ministers go out into a diverse world, they need a basic understanding of how to care for the souls of others who may have various worldviews.
Missional – The class will build the confidence of the minister as he or she goes out into the world to care for the spiritual and emotional needs of others.
Contextual – The student will learn to contextualize pastoral care to his or her ministry setting.
Intercultural – The student will demonstrate an awareness and application of cultural biases and assumptions that inform personal pastoral care/counseling.
Practically-minded – The field of pastoral care is very practically-based as issues during the pastoral care visit occur in real-time without any warnings. The student will learn to utilize improvisation to meet the dynamic patient needs.
Experiential – The student will write a verbatim about a pastoral care visit, and he or she will integrate a pastoral care approach to the ministry setting.