Pastoral care is where theology meets the “real world.” It’s when all of the learning from our classroom courses come into focus as far as how to place the Lord’s commands of caring for the hurting and underprivileged into practice (i.e. Matthew 9:36). In fact, the role of pastor could be summed up in the words of Jesus: “…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” (Matthew 25:35-36, NRSV).
The goal of this class is to equip future pastors in the discipline of pastoral care from a Biblical perspective while interacting within the reality of people’s cares and issues. We will discuss the role of the undershepherd (pastor) with God’s flock along with practical “how to’s” when ministering to them that will in turn build the parishioner’s relationship to God, his or her family, and the church body.
Written assignments for this course include:
Various readings from the book list below that will be discussed each week in a virtual classroom (Go-to-Meeting) setting.
Two verbatim reports describing the conversations between the student and the person he/she was ministering to.
A log of 30 hours of pastoral care duties that were performed while taking the class.
An end of class term paper 5-7 pages in length discussing one aspect of pastoral care that interests the student.
Required Reading for this class are the following books:
Gerkins, Charles V. An Introduction to Pastoral Care (Nashville: Abingdon, 1997).
Maxwell, Katie. Bedside Manners: A Practical Guide to Visiting the Ill, Revised (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005).
Pruyser, Paul W.: Minister as Diagnostician (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976).
Wiersbe, David W. The Dynamics of Pastoral Care (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000).
And a strongly recommended additional course book is Occasional Services: A Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1990), 320 pages.