This course will consider what it means to care pastorally as 21st Century disciples. It will do this, first by considering the theological and scriptural basis of what we mean by ‘pastoral care.’ Particular emphasis will be placed on developing our own models of care, each one seeking to be faithful to God, loving of others, and theologically rigorous. It will then move to consider this in light of the real-life context of the 21st century. In particular, this will look at pastoral care across global and economic divides, across denominations, in varying global and missional contexts, and in light of the contexts of disability theology, theology of race and place, theology of mental health and sexual ethics.
I have a rich background in practice of and employment in pastoral care, both secular and Christian (chaplaincy, pastoral ministry, youth work, mental health care, and disability care.) I am currently writing/publishing in the areas covered above, most recently completing my PhD on Pentecostal/Charismatic pastoral responses to depression. I firmly believe that loving others well is a scriptural mandate, and passionately believe in the power of thoughtful, God-centred, people-loving communities.
Full Course Description
Week 1-2: Theological Development. These weeks will consider what it means to seek practise which is faithful to God, loving of others, and theologically deep, by considering the theological and scriptural basis for our practice of ‘pastoral care.’
Week 1: Why reflect upon pastoral care? This class will consider the theological basis for theologically deep practice.
Week 2-3: Why study pastoral care academically? These weeks will consider the incredible ways which academic considerations have ‘set the prisoners free’ and ‘cared for the widows and the orphans,’ in history, and consider ways in which we can develop and grow exciting new plans in our contexts.
Week 4 – 6. Practical Application.
Week 4: Disability theology. Considering the question, ‘what does it mean to be human?’ How do we pastorally care for those with disabilities, and what does this teach us about our relationship to God and one another?
Week 5: Pastoral Care and Mental Health: In an increasingly mentally unwell society, how do we care as Jesus would for and with those with mental health issues?
Week 6: Pastoral Care in the age of #metoo. What is the church’s call and response to this? Considering the theological and pastoral issues to both the safeguarding against abuse, and what a godly, compassionate and wise response to it might look like.
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