This class is designed to help you establish a clear theology and practice of pastoral counseling. Pastoral counseling from a Wesleyan perspective accepts the wisdom gained from the study of God’s Word as our source and turns to the resources of the social sciences, counseling practices and pastoral experiences. As a pastor or lay leader who does counseling, you will gain the most by actively participating in the discussions of this class as well as preparing for the case studies. Although we will protect the dignity and confidentiality of our people, raise questions that will answer specific needs of the people you counsel, and allow this class to prepare you to help them and the many who will follow like them.


You will benefit from reading the required text. However, if you want to gain a graduate school-level experience, then you are encouraged to participate by choosing four of the recommended readings that fit your ministry situation. They are all worthy of your time though.




“Introduction to Psychology and Counseling: Christian Perspectives and Applications” by Paul D. Meier, et al.



“Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue” by Edwin Friedman

“Pastoral Counseling Across Cultures” by David Augsburger

“Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics” by Herb Gravitz and Julie Bowden

“Counseling the Culturally Diverse” by Derald Wing Sue and David Sue

“Life in a Glass House: The Minister’s Family in its Unique Social Context” by Cameron Lee and Jack Balswick

“Healing of Memories” by David Seamands

“Healing of Damaged Emotions” by David Seamands

“Counseling Strategies and Interventions” by Sherry Cormier and Harold Hackney

“Understanding Pastoral Counseling” by Elizabeth A. Maynard Jill l. Snodgrass

“The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul” by Mario Beauregard and Denyse O’Leary

“Old Loyalties, New Ties: Therapeutic Strategies with Stepfamilies” by Emily and John Visher

“The Family: A Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home” by Jack and Judy Balswick




You may do one or both of these papers if you would like the instructor’s feedback.



1. Paper on your own self. This paper should explore at least seven of the various models and concepts studied in the course. Possible inclusions could be identification of any Freudian defense mechanisms, analysis of Eriksonian stage of development, identification of any Jungian “shadow” aspects, genogram of family of origin with identification of any multi-sibling position and effect on self, analysis of epigenetic stage of growth in Christ, analysis of psychological impact of your conversion and sanctification, analysis of ministry functioning, discussion of the power of guilt or shame on your behavior, etc.

2. Paper on a case you have counseled or are presently counseling, changing names to keep confidentiality. This paper should include:

a. Two pages explaining the case itself. Practice writing a case in which all of the pertinent social, extended family, family of origin, current family, physical, psychological, and spiritual issues are described.

b. Seven pages using the concepts of the class to diagnose the situation. If it is a family, be sure and use the “Family Diagram.” Note both developmental and spiritual aspects of the case. Use at least five different models or concepts in diagnosing the case.

c. Six pages explaining the goals, process and interventions that you intend to use to help this person or family in their maturation and healing.