Pastoral Care & Counseling

The word pastor means shepherd. A pastor cares for his/her flock. Pastoral care is caring in the name of Christ for our members and the community beyond.

Pastoral Care includes the classic concepts of guiding, sustaining, and supporting the suffering person or persons with compassion and kindness. It also involves evaluation of the appropriate type of pastoral response that is needed or sought, whether that be on-going pastoral care, pastoral counseling, or pastoral psychotherapy. Professional pastoral caregivers ordinarily are trained with a minimum of one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (400 clinically supervised hours of training.)

Pastoral Counseling is both more focused and more self-consciously inquisitive than pastoral care. It endeavors to explore motivation. It considers any kind of problem of human existence brought to conversation by the counselee. It is more intentional, contractual, and addresses specific concerns or problems. It is usually short-term. Clinically trained parish clergy and clinically trained institutional chaplains provide this level of care after a minimum of four units of clinical pastoral education (1600 clinically supervised hours of training) or similarly comprehensive clinical training.

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