This unit provides the foundations for the confident and competent practice of pastoral care. The theological and ethical challenges of offering such care are examined as well as the necessity for considering pastoral case in the wider context of a community of faith. A variety of pastoral issues are presented as case studies in order for students to consider their responses and reflect on their learning from these pastoral situations. Pastoral caring skills are presented for practice and reflection.

Unit code: DP9740Z

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies

Proposing College: Uniting College for Leadership and Theology

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Learning outcomes


Articulate a refined personal pastoral theology


Critically analyse the theological and ethical foundations of pastoral care


Critically evaluate and implement the elements of an effective pastoral conversation


Critically integrate personal skills to enable effective responses in a range of pastoral situations


Employ knowledge and skills developed in the unit to critique and develop resources suitable for selected ministry context(s)

Unit sequence

A Level 9 unit in postgraduate theology and ministry awards


UCLT uses primary and secondary sources considered through different lenses to identify and explore the challenges of the unit material for the contemporary world. Students are engaged in a range of comparative, analytical and reflective practices.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Cooper-White, Pamela. The Cry of Tamar: Violence against Women and the Church’s response. (second edition) Minneapolis, MN: 1517 Media Fortress Press, 2012.
  • Geldard, David & Geldard, Kathryn & Rebecca, Y.F. Basic Personal Counselling: A Training Manual for Counsellors. South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Australia. 2016.
  • Guthrie, Nancy. What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (And What Really Hurts). Wheaton, IL: Crossway. 2016
  • Herman, Judith. Trauma and Recovery – The Aftermath of Violence from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror. New York, NY: Basic Books. 2015.
  • Hilsman, Gordon J. Spiritual Care in Common Terms. London, UK: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017.
  • Kelly, Ewan. Personhood and Presence: Self as a resource for Spiritual and Pastoral Care. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012.
  • Peck, Andy. Pastoral Care Essentials – 12 keys to Enhance Your Pastoral Care. Surrey, UK: CWR, 2019.
  • Savage, David. Non-religious Pastoral care – a Practical Guide. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.
  • Weaver, N. K. The Theology of Suffering and Death: An introduction for Caregivers. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, 2012.
  • Wordon, J W. Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy – a Handbook for Mental Health Practitioner. (4th edition) Abingdon, Oxfordshire: Routledge. 2010.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Book Review

Responding to suffering

1500 15.0

Significant moments of personal learning

1000 10.0
Case Study

Example of pastoral care provision

3500 50.0
Learning Resource

Professional Practice Application

2000 25.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 26 Oct, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 18:44:02 +1100