Individual & Family Issues in Pastoral Counseling – EDCO 831

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/05/2020

Course Description

Examining the various factors that hinder and destroy the family, this course provides an in-depth study of the issues encountered in pastoral counseling. Areas of discussion and examination include common mental health disorders, as well as issues that impact both the individual and family including family composition such as blended families, childbirth, parenting, and additional pertinent topics throughout the lifespan.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


With the world of the pastoral counselor changing with ever-increasing frequency, it is important that the student stay up-to-date with contemporary issues in society. The focus of this course is on how the meaning of “family” is changing and how the individual fits into this new paradigm. This knowledge will better prepare the pastoral counselor to face these issues as they are presented to and in the church, as well as to help them form a biblical response to these new challenges.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze and discuss the various forms society claims makes a family, and what those stresses are.
  2. Demonstrate the appropriate awareness related to the unique cultures that the modern church is faced with, including spirituality, sexuality, gender issues, ethnicity, and values.
  3. Evaluate contemporary topics and issues pertinent to pastoral counseling by discussing current research and addressing societal understanding as it relates to meeting the needs of a modern-day congregation.
  4. Apply a biblical basis for marriage and families, and research what God defined as to what marriage is in His eyes and why the strength of the family is key to a strong church.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Class-Wide Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 3 other classmates’ threads during the same week. Each reply must be 100–200 words. Discussion boards 1, 2, and 3 are worth 80 points. Discussion board 4 is worth 60 points.

Research Paper

The student will write a 12–15-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on the student’s choice of a current issue affecting pastoral counseling. The paper must include at least 10 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. Students need to follow the paper instructions very carefully.

Case Studies (2)

The student will write 2 case study papers that are 4–6 pages each and in current APA format. One case study will be on the family, and the other one on marriage. Both will be based on working with a family and also a couple in a church. The paper must include 3–4 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 12–16 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 30-minute time limit.