Individual & Family Issues in Pastoral Counseling – PACO 830

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 12/12/2022

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an in-depth study of the commonly addressed issues encountered in pastoral counseling. This study will include topical discussions of individual and family issues including the more common mental health disorders and familial issues such as family composition, childbirth, parenting, and other pertinent topics throughout the lifespan.

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


As a basis for their work, pastoral counselors should have a thorough understanding of individual and family issues in pastoral counseling. In addition to understanding core theoretical principles, pastoral counselors need to appreciate contributions from various theoretical approaches to the actual practice of counseling. This understanding serves to heighten counselor effectiveness in formulating effective treatment strategies and in aiding in the delivery of powerful interventions in an efficient and timely manner.

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each Discussion will require the student to research and participate in topical and theoretical discussions regarding counseling. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads in each Discussion. The first three Discussions will have word counts of 500 words for the thread and 250 for each reply. The final Discussion will have word counts of 400 words for the thread and 200 words for each reply. Citations are expected and must be written in current Turabian format. 

Reading Synopsis Assignment

The Student will read Module 1: Week 1 readings from their textbooks. The student will elaborate on one topic of interest from their readings. The student is expected to contribute to the topic by adding insights on how the topic of interest applies to their worldview in the field of Christian Counseling.

4-MAT Chapter Review Assignments (2)

The student will write 2, 4-MAT Chapter Reviews for 2 of the required textbooks for this course. The student will choose 1 chapter per textbook to review. The first 4-MAT Chapter Review will cover 1 chapter in the Clinton & Hawkins (2011) textbook, and the second 4-MAT Chapter Review will cover 1 chapter in the Townsend (2009) textbook. Each review must be 8–10 pages. Use of current Turabian format, correct grammar, and correct spelling is required.

Theoretical Orientation Assignment

The student will write a 12-15-page paper in current Turabian format that will focus on 1 theory or a combination/integration of theories in which he or she finds his or her orientation. It will be written as if the student is going to submit it to a journal, giving an argument for his or her integrative orientation and why it should be implemented across the field. This paper will include the tenets of the theory, influencers associated with this theory, techniques, strengths and weaknesses, biblical integrative factors, and a practical application. There must be a minimum of 3 scholarly resources.