Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care


The candidate must earn at least 24 credits in the program, twelve of which must be in Pastoral Care courses. Two of the credits must be earned through the two Pastoral Care Core Courses and a minimum of four additional credits must be earned in each of the two Pastoral Care sub-areas. Credits could also be earned via a thesis (up to three credits) or in guided research (up to three credits). Each credit is earned by 45 hours of active learning.

Introduction to the Pastoral Care Focus Area STM Degree 

The foundation of the STM degree with a focus in Pastoral Care consists of courses in two areas: pastoral care in daily life and pastoral counsel in troubled times. Students increase their appreciation for the privilege of serving in the pastoral ministry, their understanding of the souls entrusted to their care, their ability to fulfill the duties of their ministry, and their gratitude for the goodness and mercy of the Good Shepherd. The program acquaints students with the study and with resources for serious investigation, evaluation, and encouragement in the care of souls.

Goals (Knowledge, Skills, Attitude) 

By the end of this program the student will have done the following:

  • Treasured the Spirit’s formation of a pastor’s heart and work through regular use of the means of grace, prayer flowing from meditation on the Word of God, and endurance of spiritual attack
  • Applied Scripture with clarity and compassion to the struggles and for the strengthening of individuals, marriages, families, churches, and relationships
  • Articulated aims, emphases, and strengths of Lutheran pastoral care and counseling
  • Assessed spiritual issues and collaborative needs in a broad range of specific challenges (e.g., addictions, trauma, end of life decisions, etc.)
  • Discussed the care of souls – for both pastor and people – across a lifespan of daily blessings, burdens, changes, fears, and sorrows
  • Examined resources and opportunities to encourage and equip the body of Christ in carrying out their vocations to the glory of God and in service to others
  • Practiced skills and scriptural application in pastoral counseling


  1. Core Courses – Both are requisites for the Pastoral Care STM Degree
    • PC5001 Pastoral Care in Daily Life (1.5 cr)
    • PC5002 Pastoral Counsel in Times of Trouble (1.5 cr)
  2. Sub-Area Courses – A minimum of four credits must be earned in each sub-area

Sub-Area 1: Pastoral Care in Daily Life (minimum of four credits needed)

Qualifying courses (currently):

  • ED5040 Leading Teens and Young Adults to Spiritual Maturity: Building a Bridge from Childhood to Adulthood (1.5 cr)
  • PC5039 A Pastor Counsels His Members Through Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage (2 cr)
  • PL5080 Teaching Christian Leadership in Congregations, Classrooms, & Christian Homes (1 cr)
  • ED5022 Teach Them to Your Children: Helping Parents Fulfill Their Spiritual Responsibility to Children (1 cr)
  • OT5132 The Psalms: Knowing Them Like the Back of My Hand (1 cr)
  • PL5027 The Theology and Practice of Stewardship (1 cr)
  • ST5004 The Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel, (3 cr)
  • ST 5039 The Priesthood of All Believers: Our Calling and Our Challenge (1 cr)

Sub-Area 2: Pastoral Counsel in Times of Trouble (minimum of four credits needed)

Qualifying courses (currently):

  • PT7049 Caring for All God’s Children: Addressing Abuse in the Christian Home (1.5 cr)
  • PC9020 Helping Christians Obtain Treatment for Mental Illness (2 cr)
  • PC5070 Medical Decisions and Dilemmas in End-of-Life Care (1.5 cr)
  • PC5010 Mental Health Disorders: Support for Those who Suffer (1.5 cr)
  • PC5022 Ministering to Those Suffering from Addictions (1 cr)
  • PT7028 The Pastor and Bioethics (1.5 cr)
  • PC5014 Turning Victims into Survivors: Counsel and Care for the Abused (Part 1), (1 cr)
  • PC5015 Turning Victims into Survivors: Counsel and Care for the Abused (Part 2), (1 cr)
  • ME5009 Revelation as a Pastoral Response to Social Justice Theory (1 cr)
  • PL5002 Revelation: Spiritual Leadership in the Face of a Challenge (1 cr)

Ways to Earn Credits (prioritized) 

  1. Summer Quarter Courses in even-numbered years
  2. Online Courses (Spring, Summer, Fall)
  3. Satellite Summer Quarter courses in odd-numbered years
  4. Thesis
  5. Winterim Courses in January
  6. Guided research