PACO 501 Foundational Doctrines for Pastoral Counselors

This course is a study of systematic theology that will give attention to the doctrines of the Bible, God, humanity, sin, Christ, Holy Spirit, salvation, the church and last things. The course will provide the student the theological foundations to serve and counsel more effectively in the local church and community contexts.

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

Course Guide

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Christian theology supplies a biblical perspective on reality. Theological reflection is essential for the pastoral counselor who hopes to help others cope with reality; he or she must be able to provide biblical, reasoned, and sensitive responses to the hard questions of faith and life. Therefore, this course helps to prepare pastoral counseling students for counseling ministry by introducing them to the major doctrines in systematic theology.


Textbook readings and lecture presentations

No details available.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided topic for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge through at least one cited insight from each required source/reading to date. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be between 200–250 words and include at least one cited insight from each required source/reading to date. (CLO: A, C, D, E, F)

Research Paper Assignments (3)

The Research Paper Assignment will be completed in 3 steps.

Quiz: Research Paper: Topic 

First, the student must select a doctrinal topic for his/her paper from a provided list.

Research Paper: Research Proposal Assignment

After the student’s topic has been approved by the instructor, he/she must complete a research paper proposal that is 1 full page (but must not exceed 2 pages). The proposal must contain the following components: a title page, a working thesis statement, need for study, biblical/exegetical studies supporting the selected topic, and a working reference list of at least 5 scholarly references. Specific instructions are provided in the assignment instructions’ folder of the course.

Research Paper: Final Submission Assignment

The student must write his/her Research Paper Assignment using the approved topic and proposal. The body of the paper must be a minimum length of 7 full pages, not to exceed 9 pages, and must include the major sections listed in the instructions document; it must also contain at least 5 scholarly references. School of Behavioral Sciences students follow current APA standards and School of Divinity students – current Turabian format. Specific instructions are provided in the assignment instructions’ folder of the course. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

Journal Critique: God and the Pastoral Counselor Assignment

The student will read the assigned peer-reviewed, scholarly journal article and write a critique. The body of the critique must be 2 full pages (but must not exceed 3 pages). School of Behavioral Sciences students follow current APA standards and School of Divinity students – current Turabian format. Specific instructions are provided in the assignment instructions’ folder of the course. (CLO: A, B, C, D, E, F)

Quiz: Self-Report: Question and Answer Center Subscription

The student must subscribe to the Question and Answer Center, then complete a self-report indicating subscription. This simple but important task initiates meaningful and real-time connection. Common subscription to this discussion tool will help the student remain involved and informed. The quiz will have one file-upload question and no time limit.

Quizzes (4)

4 Quizzes: 1) Bible and God; 2) Christ and Holy Spirit; 3) Humanity, Sin, and Salvation; 4) Salvation, Church and Counseling will cover the Learn material for the modules covered. The quizzes will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice, matching, and true/false questions, and have a 120-minute time limit. (CLO: A, D, E)


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