This unit is an advanced practice unit. It introduces the skills of a narrative approach to the pastoral counselling relationship. This approach is used to underpin a professional approach to ministry practice. Narrative approaches are characterised by applicability in multiple fields of pastoral endeavour from the individual counselling room, group facilitation and the clinical pastoral educational setting through to general community work. Students who enter this unit will already have developed skills in attending, questioning and disclosing. Students will also develop the prerequisite critical thinking skills, central to the narrative approach, with which to examine their professional religious and other pastoral practices. Here, of particular moment, are the ethics of the power relations integral to the pastoral relationship.

Unit Code: DP9650P

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning Outcomes


Demonstrate critical thinking skills in relation, firstly, to pastoral counselling and, secondly, the operations of structural and social power inherent in such counselling.


Conduct interviews to establish goals for a pastoral intervention using a narrative approach.


Demonstrate the key skills of the narrative interviewing model including respectful engagement, safety/boundary negotiation, externalising conversations, thickening of unique outcomes, thickening of the preferred identities.


Critically reflect upon their own personal engagement in the counselling context and with pastoral counselling skills in relation to the narrative approach.


Reflect upon the theological significance and relevance of the narrative approach to pastoral counselling.

Unit sequence

DP3605P/9605P: Pastoral Counselling and Professional Ministry Practice


Lectures, Seminars


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Narrative Journal compiled weekly during semester. (3000 words) …An integrative reflective summary drawing on Narrative Journal (1000 words)

3000 60.0
Skill Demonstration

Narrative Recorded Skills Demonstration and Post-interview critical reflection against assessment grid. (equivalent 2000 words) (Must be passed)

2000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2014

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-25 09:38:12 +1000