This unit gives an overview of the disciplines of formation for the practice of spiritual care. Theological and philosophical aspects of care are presented, and personal and spiritual formation sessions focus on the student’s spiritual care identity, skill development and reflective practice. Small group sessions and verbatim supervision provide an introduction to basic counselling skills in the context of the practice of spiritual care and offer opportunities to practice and obtain feedback on those skills.

Unit code: DP1001S

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

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 critically engage current spiritual care themes in a variety of settings.


Identify and describe biblical and theological themes and motifs which inform and complement their spiritual/pastoral identity and practice.


Identify and critically reflect on historical and textual examples of the practice of spiritual care from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions.


Lectures to the whole group with opportunity for dialogue groups and discussion times. Participation in a supervised group with a focus on a personal spiritual care encounter presented through a verbatim process. A series of practical workshops (with input and Notes and skill development) on listening skills.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Swift, C., Cobb, M. & Todd, A. (2015) A handbook of chaplaincy studies: Understanding spiritual care in public places. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate
  • Thompson, J., Pattison S. & Thompson, R. (2008) SCM study guide to theological reflection.
  • Anderson, R. Spiritual Caregiving as secular sacrament: A practical theology for professional caregivers. London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2003.
  • Cooper-White, P. Shared wisdom: Use of the self in pastoral care and counselling. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2004.
  • 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.
  • Lartey, E. Pastoral theology in an intercultural world. Peterborough: Epworth Press, 2006.
  • Leech, Kenneth. Soul Friend: Spiritual Direction in a modern world. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1994.
  • McSherry, W. Making sense of spirituality in nursing and health care practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2006.
  • Miller-McLemore, B. The Wiley-Blackwell companion to practical theology. London: Wiley/Blackwell, 2012.
  • Pattison, S. The challenge of practical theology: Selected essays. London: Jessica Kingsley, 2007.
  • Pembroke, N. The art of listening: Dialogue, shame and pastoral care. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 2002. (recommended for purchase)
  • Pembroke, N. Trinitarian perspectives on pastoral care and counselling. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006.
  • Puchalski, C. Making healthcare whole: Integrating spirituality into healthcare, W. Conschocken. PA: Templeton Press, 2010.
  • Roberts, Stephen (ed.) Professional, spiritual and pastoral care: A practical clergy and chaplain's handbook, Woodstock. Vermont: Skylight Paths Publishing, 2012.
  • Stevenson-Moessner, J. A primer in pastoral care. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2005.
  • Wicks, R. & Rodgerson, T. Companions in hope: the art of Christian caring. NY: Paulist, 1998.
  • Woodward, J. & Pattison, S. The Blackwell reader in pastoral and practical theology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Verbatim Report (1000 words)

1000 25.0
Book Review

Book Report (1000 words)

1000 25.0

Essay (2000 words)

2000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-06-07 14:58:05 +1000