Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

Session: Fall
Type: Asynchronous, Online
Units: 3
Academic Year: 2024 – 2025
Approval Required: No

This asynchronous online pastoral counseling course will introduce students to culturally responsive counseling practices and foster multicultural awareness. Students will examine societal and institutional structures of power and privilege, and will become more aware of the biases, prejudices, and microaggressions that are detrimental to the growth of the human spirit. Students will study major counseling theories and will practice basic helping skills centered on Person-Centered (Rogerian) counseling and Bowen Family Systems Theory. Contextual pastoral elements will be included, especially in the use of Bowen Family Systems as applied to congregational contexts.

This is an asynchronous course, with written lectures and frequent use of videos and links to online resources. Weekly personal reflections and weekly Zoom skill-practice exercises with a class-mate-practice-partner will be required. It is an intermediate course intended for MDiv students, and with doctoral upgrade possible.

Faculty Consent required. Registration is contingent upon faculty approval.
1. Students will self-enroll in the course to be placed on the waitlist. 2. Complete the required faculty consent questionnaire. For questions regarding Faculty Consent, please contact

Meets Thresholds: 5. Spiritual Practice and Care of the Soul, 2. Prophetic Witness Meets MFC Competencies: 2. Pastoral Care and Presence, 4. Social Justice in the Public Square

Enrollment max: 20. Auditors excluded.