This unit gives an overview of the disciplines of formation for the practice of pastoral and spiritual care. Theological and philosophical aspects of care are presented, and the elements of formation required to develop the student’s spiritual care identity, skill development and reflective capability are explored. Small group sessions and verbatim supervision provide an introduction to basic listening skills in the context of the practice of spiritual care.

Unit code: DP1001S

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Stirling College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate integration of experience, listening-skills development and theological reflection as the foundational elements of reflective practice that embodies safe, sustainable and professionally-responsive care.


Outline and reflect on current spiritual care themes in a variety of settings.


Describe theological themes and motifs which inform and complement their spiritual/pastoral identity and practice.


Identify and reflect on personal examples of the practice of spiritual care.


Weekly pre-recorded lectures and readings online. Weekly synchronous tutorial sessions with opportunity for dialogue groups and discussion times. Participation in peer supervision group with a focus on a spiritual care encounter presented through a verbatim process. A series of practical workshops on listening skills.

Indicative Bibliography

Cooper-White, P. Shared wisdom: Use of the self in pastoral care and counselling. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004.

Damasio, Antonio. Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain. London: Vintage, 2012.

Doehring, Carrie. The practice of pastoral care: A postmodern approach (revised and expanded edition). Louisville, John Knox Press, 2015. (recommended for purchase)

Dykstra, Robert C. (ed)* Images of pastoral care: Classic readings*. St Louis, Chalis Press, 2005.

Graham, Larry Kent. Care of Persons, Care of Worlds: A Psychosystems Approach to Pastoral Care and Counseling. Nashville: Abingdon, 1992.

Harrison, Guy (ed). Psycho-spiritual Care in Health Care Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-78592-039- 4

Lartey, E. Pastoral theology in an intercultural world. Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2006.

Pembroke, N. The art of listening: Dialogue, shame and pastoral care. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2002. (recommended for purchase)

Puchalski, C. Making healthcare whole: Integrating spirituality into healthcare. W. Conschocken. PA: Templeton Press, 2010.

Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. New York: Harper Collins, 2009.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review

Book Report (1000 words)

1000 25.0

Essay (2000 words)

2000 50.0

Verbatim Report (1000 words)

1000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 5 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-05 09:36:36 +1000