Crises and Current Issues in Pastoral Counseling – PACO 840

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

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth study of the onset, duration, and appropriate interventions for various crises encountered in pastoral counseling. This study will include topical discussions of crises including natural and manmade disasters, trauma, suicidal ideations, and familial crises.


DMIN 810


As a basis for their work, pastoral counselors should have a thorough understanding of Crisis theories and their relevance for guiding the therapeutic process. In addition to understanding core theoretical principles, pastoral counselors need to appreciate contributions from various theoretical approaches to the actual practice of crisis 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 known as crisis intervention.
  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 need to address in their clients.
  5. Illustrate and clarify the process of crisis intervention by means of case studies.
  6. Analyze and discuss the effects of trauma on the behavioral, affective, somatic, interpersonal, cognitive, and spiritual aspects of a person.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, lecture presentations, and articles

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 (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums designed to allow the student to interact with course materials. Student posts have a suggested scope of about 500 words. In addition to carrying on the discussion in the student’s thread, the student must post at least 1 reply (suggested scope of about 250 words) to a classmate in the thread he or she creates. The student must incorporate and synthesize course materials, support his or her assertions using scholarly research, and use current APA format.

Community Referral Notebook.

The student will develop a notebook that must include at least 1 local, state, and national referral resource for each dimension of crisis care, as specified in assignment guidance and the grading rubric.

SIPR Quizzes (14)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for its respective AACC Suicide PAIR Certification Program DVD presentation. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a time limit of 30 minutes. At the conclusion of the course, the student is encouraged to submit the AACC final exam electronic scan form, included in his or her AACC workbook, with his or her quiz answers to the AACC to achieve Suicide PAIR Certification.

Interview Reports

Students will interview 5 individuals who have gone through some type of violence-related trauma. Students should review assignment guidance and the grading rubric.

Research Paper

The student will write a research paper on one of the following topics:

  • Therapies and treatments of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  • Familial crises
  • Palliative care
  • Law enforcement chaplaincy
  • Biblical perspective of crises intervention.

The body of the paper should be about 8-10 pages, not including title page, reference page, etc. Adequate research will include at least 8 scholarly sources. Students should review assignment guidance and grading rubric for details and clarification.