This unit provides students with a foundation for spiritual and pastoral care as an integral expression of person-centred care. Students will consider the theological and practical aspects of care as an expression of meaningful engagement with others. Students will examine the social and pastoral contexts of care, including those where spiritual care is provided outside the faith community. Attention will be paid to the Capability Frameworks for Spiritual Care Practitioners and the emerging resources in the spiritual care sector. Consideration of the contribution of the Christian tradition to the field of pastoral and spiritual care is made, including theological metaphors and models of care, theological understandings of personhood, considerations of power and pastoral identity, as well as specific skills essential to the good practice of person-centred care.

Unit code: DP8001W (Approved)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Whitley College

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Learning outcomes


Identify and describe theological themes that inform a Christian commitment to pastoral and spiritual care


Investigate specific contemporary issues and challenges that impact upon expressions of person-centred care


Outline a theology of care that considers various social contexts, personal experience and basic helping-skills as tools in the effective practice of pastoral and spiritual care;


Articulate an understanding of the current pastoral and spiritual resources


Critically research a pastoral context in a rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner, including the theological and pastoral responses.


Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Cobb, M, Puchalski, C, Rumbold, B. (eds), Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Health Care. Oxford, New York: OUP, 2012
  • Fitchett, G & Nolan, S., Spiritual Care in Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2015
  • Geldard,D & Geldard, K, Basic Personal Counselling, Frenchs Forrest: Prentice Hall, ed 4 or 5
  • Lartey, E Pastoral Theology in an intercultural World. Peterborough, Epworth, 2006
  • Lebacqz, K & Driskill, J, Ethics and Spiritual Care: A guide for pastors, chaplains and spiritual directors, Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2000.
  • Louw, D. Ito, D.T., Elsdorfer, U. eds., Encounter in Pastoral Care and Spiritual Healing: Towards an integrative and intercultural approach. London: Lit; 2012
  • Pattison, S. A critique of pastoral care. (3rd ed) London: SCM, 2000.
  • Roberts, S.B., Professional Spiritual and Pastoral Care: A practical Clergy and Chaplains Handbook Woodstock, Vermont : Skylight Paths, 2012
  • Rose, J, Psychology for pastoral contexts. London: SCM, 2013
  • Stephenson-Moessner, J. A primer in pastoral care. Minneapolois: Fortress, 2005
  • Whipp, M. Pastoral Theology. London: SCM. 2013
  • Whitehead, E. & Whitehead, J. Transforming our painful emotions: Spiritual resources in anger, shame grief, fear and loneliness. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2010


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Case Study

1500 word case study

1500 25.0

3000 word essay

3000 50.0

Portfolio 2500 words

2500 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2019-10-18 14:25:39 +1100