Pastoral Counseling (PCGR)

PCGR 6310. Human Growth and Development. (3 Credits)

This course will explore the development from birth and adolescence through the tasks and crisis of middle and later life. Stage theories, cognitive, social and emotional development will be the focus of this course. Special consideration will be given to spiritual life issues throughout the development process.

PCGR 6380. Theology of Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care. (3 Credits)

This course addresses contemporary psychological and spiritual issues in the field of pastoral care and counseling, including addiction, trauma, and anxiety, and proposes a theological method for reflecting on them.

Attribute: CSGE.

PCGR 6382. Social and Cultural Foundations of Pastoral Counseling. (3 Credits)

This course explores the social and cultural foundations of counseling twofold: The foundations of mental health counseling and the foundations of multicultural counseling. Specific focus is given to counseling individuals, couples, and families from diverse groups and populations.

PCGR 6384. Professional Ethics in Pastoral Counseling. (3 Credits)

An exploration of critical issues in the ethical practice of counseling and pastoral ministry, this course addresses the roles and responsibilities of the professional counselor or minister. Using case studies and small group work, students will explore potential ethical conflicts and methods of ethical reasoning as they develop skills to work through ethical conflicts in the counseling setting.

PCGR 6386. Pastoral Counseling Theory. (3 Credits)

This course explores the major theories of counseling, including psychodynamic, cognitive, and family systems. Special consideration is given to the application of theoretical models to clinical practice, and by extension their application to pastoral and spiritual care.

PCGR 6390. Psychopathology and Diagnosis. (3 Credits)

The course will introduce students to the basics of psychopathology and psychological diagnosis for use in clinical and pastoral work. This course is designed to help students cultivate the ability to think critically and creatively, so that they can work from a diagnostic standpoint that is human, flexible, empathetic, and nonjudgmental, with a focus on the real person one meets in the consulting room or ministry setting. Within this framework, the course will cover interviewing and assessment skills, DSM-5 categories, ethical considerations, character/personality issues, and pastoral assessment. Case studies will be used to practice the art of diagnostic formulation, with an eye toward treatment planning and case formulation.

PCGR 6410. Psychology and Religion/Spirituality. (3 Credits)

This course explores spirituality, faith, and religious experience from a psychodynamic viewpoint. The theories of Freud, Jung, Winnicott, and contemporary relational writers are engaged in order to explore how our psychology affects our religious lives and vice versa. The class addresses issues of fantasy, God images, play, religion and the body, and “healthy” and “unhealthy” uses of religion. Using text, experiential exercises, and critical reflection, we will engage our own religious history and traditions, and consider what it means to be a fully alive human being.

Attributes: CSGE, PSNM.

PCGR 6420. Marriage/Family Therapy. (3 Credits)

A systemic approach to family treatment. A survey of the major contributors to the field, using videotape demonstrations of family sessions. Genograms will be used to explore family-of-origin issues.

PCGR 6440. Pastoral Counseling Skills. (3 Credits)

This course provides an introduction to the basic skills of effective helping. A focus on presence, empathy, compassion, and self-awareness forms the foundation for learning specific skills directed toward fostering exploration, insight, and action in the helping relationship. The course includes both discussion and small-group live practice, and is suitable for any student who works closely with people in a helping capacity.

PCGR 6510. Advanced Life Span Issues and Career Counseling. (3 Credits)

This course explores the advanced lifespan issues of adulthood through the lens of clinical practice and pastoral/spiritual care. Specific focus will be given to issues of career, vocation, and social justice advocacy.

PCGR 6610. Trauma & Trauma-Informed Care. (3 Credits)

Many of those whom we serve in the helping professions have trauma histories; our communities themselves might be traumatized in one way or another. In this course, counselors and ministers will gain a working knowledge of the theory of trauma and its effects—including neuropsychological and relational dimensions—and will introduce various ways of working with trauma in clinical and pastoral settings.

PCGR 6620. Trauma and Society. (3 Credits)

While trauma is experienced individually, it often has a collective or communal dimension, particularly in situations of war, political/social oppression, poverty, terrorism, or natural disaster. Recent work around the intergenerational transmission of trauma recognizes that the effects of individual or communal trauma can reverberate for generations. Experiences of war, genocide, slavery, racism, colonialism, systemic oppression, and deprivation in the U.S. and around the world have exacted a toll on the bodies and minds not only of the immediate victims, but also on those of subsequent generations. This class explores the dynamics and effects of historical, communal, and intergenerational trauma from multiple perspectives, with particular attention to the legacies of the Holocaust, American slavery, and colonialism.

PCGR 6630. Trauma, Religion & Spirituality. (3 Credits)

This course will engage theological and psychology of religion approaches to trauma; the positive and negative impacts of religion, faith, or spirituality on the traumatized person; and trauma-informed approaches to ministry and spiritual care (liturgy, pastoral care, education). We will pay particular attention to clergy sexual abuse as a case study in the intersection of betrayal trauma, moral injury, and communal responsibility.

PCGR 7330. Assessment and Appraisal of Individuals, Couples, and Families. (3 Credits)

This course provides students with an overview of the assessment and appraisal process as it relates to Masters-level counseling students seeking licensure as a professional counselor. Students will be introduced to the foundational history of assessment, overall assessment principles, and the properties of reliability and validity as they relate to the validation of psychological test instruments. Both standardized and nonstandardized assessment instruments will be reviewed with attention paid to how they can be integrated successfully into counseling sessions. Ethical and legal considerations will be addressed, and the use of assessments with diverse populations will be discussed.

PCGR 7410. Research Methods in Pastoral Counseling. (3 Credits)

This course will be a review of research in pastoral counseling. It will introduce basic concepts and methods of quantitative and qualitative research, consider ways of studying change as a result of counseling interventions and programs, and familiarize students with basic skills in evaluating research literature.

PCGR 7420. Death, Dying, and Bereavement. (3 Credits)

This course will focus on personal experiences with death and loss; the theological perspectives of major world religions on death and grief; myths about and components of grief; meaning making; issues facing the terminally ill; appropriate care for the bereaved in differing situations; and our own self-care as pastoral care workers and pastoral mental health counselors.

PCGR 7422. Group Process: Theory and Techniques. (3 Credits)

This course emphasizes a science-practitioner model of group counseling that includes an experiential and didactic introduction to the group process, theory, and techniques. The experiential component of the group process will include modeling facilitation, structured exercises, and debriefing of immediate experiences. The didactic component of the course will include discussions of readings, lectures, videos, and presentations. This course is not available for audit.

PCGR 7471.  Clinical Instruction and Integration Process I. (3 Credits)

This course is designed to accompany the Field Placement for students in the Clinical Pastoral Counseling 60-Credit Program. Students will engage current approaches to counseling and psychotherapy in dialogue with their own clinical work. Classes will focus on the presentation of students' clinical work in connection with relevant topics in the clinical literature, addressing such matters as transference and countertransference, addictions treatment, spiritual issues, and working with trauma. The aim of the course is to integrate previous classroom work and clinical experience, so that students are prepared to begin work as professional counselors and therapists.

PCGR 7472. Clinical Instruction and Integration Process II. (3 Credits)

This continuation course is designed to accompany the field placement for students in the clinical pastoral counseling 60 Credit Program.

Prerequisite: PCGR 7471.

PCGR 8999. Tutorial. (0 to 6 Credits)