This unit assists pastoral practitioners to engage in the process of developing a coherent framework for pastoral interaction, care, and leadership in a variety of settings. Key pastoral themes will be explored, for example: the individual in relationship to their context/environment; ethics and boundaries; family systems and group dynamics; grief and bereavement; non-Western cultures; professional supervision and ongoing professional development and formation; spiritual direction; and, referral and management in pastoral care. The spiritual leadership component of this unit considers the theoretical and theological bases of leadership, with a focus on the spirituality and principles of transformation. Time is given to considering the personal qualities of a Christian leader in those areas of ministry which are relevant to the interests of the students or their current ministerial experience.

Unit code: DP2002C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a familiarity with the issues and resources necessary for effective and contemporary pastoral ministry


Describe elements of professional and ethical pastoral practice


Demonstrate an understanding of the key elements of reflective, safe and effective pastoral practice including reflective practice and self-awareness that enables safe and effective pastoral care and practice.


Differentiate between spiritual, pastoral, developmental, and psychiatric concerns, and explore ways to respond appropriately to each according to the limits of their competence


Understand and integrate the necessary principles of pastoral care and spiritual leadership


Understand and integrate the necessary principles of pastoral care and spiritual leadership

Unit sequence

Although there are no prerequisite units, DP1001C, BS1001C, BS1002C, CT1100C, and CT 1110C would be advantageous; along with previous pastoral experience or current engagement in ministry.


This provides a combination of theological, anthropological, spiritual, and psycho-social resources which assist the student to interpret, both theoretically and practically, the personal and communal experiences related to pastoral care and leadership. It offers a theme-based approach to the identification, articulation, management, and contemporary practice related to issues associated with pastoral care and spiritual leadership. Learning develops through input from various presenters, guided reading, class discussion, research essays and seminar presentations.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Egan, G. The Skilled Helper A Problem-Management Approach to Helping, 8th ed. (and Work Book) Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole, 2007.
  • Gula, Richard. Just Ministry: Professional Ethics for Pastoral Ministers. New York: Paulist Press, 2010.
  • Kirkwood, N. Pastoral Care in Hospitals (Second Edition). London, Morehouse, 2005.
  • Kofler, Len. Healing Relationships: A Practical Guide for Christian Counsellors and Carers. London: St Paul’s Publishing, 2007.
  • Leach, Jane, & Paterson, Michael. Pastoral Supervision, A Handbook (2nd Ed). London: SCM Press 2015
  • Moran, F.M. Beyond the Culture of Care. Strathfield, NSW, St Paul’s Publications, 2007.
  • Randall, Fiona, and Robert S. Downie. The Philosophy of Palliative Care: Critique and Reconstruction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
  • Sperry, L. Transforming Self and Community: Revisioning Pastoral Counselling and Spiritual Direction. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, 2002.
  • Wicks, Robert J., Richard D. Parsons, and Donald Capps, eds. Clinical Handbook of Pastoral Counselling. 2 vols. New York: Paulist Press, 1993.
  • Yeomans, Frank. E., Otto F. Kernberg, and John F. Clarkin. Transference-Focused Psychotherapy for Borderline Disorder: A Clinical Guide. Washington: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2015.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

2500 Essay

2500 50.0
Written Examination

1 hour written examination

1000 30.0

2,500 Report

1000 20.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000