Individual & Family Issues in Pastoral Counseling – PACO 830

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

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.


DMIN 810


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.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze and trace the history of the discipline of pastoral counseling.
  2. Examine, discuss, and integrate all issues, theories, assumptions, materials, etc., presented in the course in accord with current scholarly standards and practices.
  3. Examine, discuss, and integrate all issues, theories, assumptions, materials, etc., presented in the course through the lens of Scripture.
  4. Compare, contrast, and comprehend prevalent crises that pastoral counselors may confront in working with their clients.
  5. Illustrate and clarify the process of pastoral counseling by means of case studies.

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.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each forum will require the student to research and participate in topical and theoretical discussions regarding counseling. Each thread must be at least 500 words and will focus on key concepts, theories, and topics, assessments, and questionnaires that could be utilized in pastoral counseling. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words. Citations, if used, must be written in current APA format. Grading rubrics for the discussion board threads and discussion board replies can be found on Blackboard. Please Note: Discussion Board Forum 3 (Week 8) uses a different grading rubric and point total.  For Discussion Board Forum 3 each thread must be 400 words (Wed., Submission) and replies are 200 words (Friday Submission).

4-MAT Chapter Reviews (2)

The student will write 2 4-MAT Chapter Reviews for 2 of the required textbooks for this course. The student will be able 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 APA format, correct grammar, and correct spelling is required. Each review will be submitted via SafeAssign.

Theoretical Orientation Paper

The student will write a 20–25-page Theoretical Orientation Paper in current APA 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 an APA 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 20 scholarly resources.