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 privilege of serving in the pastoral ministry, their understanding of the souls entrusted their care, their ability to fulfill the duties of their ministry, and their gratitude for 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
  • Pastoral Care in Daily Life (1.0 credit)
  • Pastoral Counsel in Times of Trouble (1.0 credit)
  1. 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):

  • Leading Teens and Young Adults to Spiritual Maturity: Building a Bridge from Childhood to Adulthood, ED5040
  • Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage – a Pastoral Approach, PC 5039
  • Teaching Christian Leadership in Congregations, Classrooms, & Christian Homes, PL 5080
  • Teach Them to Your Children: Helping Parents Fulfill Their Spiritual Responsibility to Children, ED5022
  • The Psalms: Knowing Them Like the Back of My Hand, OT9132
  • The Theology and Practice of Stewardship, PL9027
  • The Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel, ST 5004
  • The Priesthood of All Believers: Our Calling and Our Challenge, ST 5039

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

Qualifying courses (currently):

  • Caring for All God’s Children: Addressing Abuse in the Christian Home, PT 7049
  • Christian Ethics, ST5090
  • Helping Christians Obtain Treatment for Mental Illness, PC 9120
  • Medical Decisions and Dilemmas in End-of-Life Care, PC 5070
  • Mental Health Disorders: Support for Those who Suffer, PC 5010
  • Ministering to Those Suffering from Addictions, PC5022
  • Pastoral Leadership for Challenging Times and Situations
  • The Pastor and Bioethics, PT 7028
  • Turning Victims into Survivors: Counsel and Care for the Abused (Part 1), PC5014
  • Turning Victims into Survivors: Counsel and Care for the Abused (Part 2), PC5015

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