Pastoral Skills and Methods

Pastoral Skills and Methods helps students to explore and critique the aims and methods of pastoral care. It is a practical unit teaching relational skills such as empathy, respect, and how to listen to others. Special attention is given to the pastoral care of persons with special needs, including those with disabilities, as well as those in situations such as divorce, bereavement, and depression.
Please visit the timetable by clicking here for current information on subject availability.

Subject Details

Workload 12 credit points, 36 contact hours
Status Elective
Subject Code PC003
Teacher Richard Trist

Section A: Pastoral Skills and Methods

An introduction to aims and methods in pastoral care and pastoral counselling and their implications for Christian community.

  • Relational skills; empathy, respect, concreteness, genuineness; listening skills
  • Equipping others; teaching, encouragement, recognition of abilities, training
  • Mechanics of care; administration, publicity, the various settings of care, record-keeping

Section B: Pastoral Care in Particular Situations
In the topics studied below, attention should be paid not only to the needs of those in care but the carers’ own lives.

5. Pastoral care of persons with special needs, including

  • the recognition of normal and abnormal conditions
  • the mentally ill
  • handicapped and disabled persons

6. Pastoral care of people in the following situations

  • marital disharmony and divorce
  • dying, death and bereavement; the grief process
  • depression

7. Pastoral care of those in crises, or with chronic conditions. Students study two of:

  • alcoholism & drug dependence
  • attempted suicide
  • long-term illness
  • child abuse and domestic violence
  • AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases
  • unemployment and work related stress
  • those in trouble with the law
  • financial or debt-related stress

8. Community resources for pastoral care, including other helping professions; when to refer

Study Expectations
In this subject, you can expect to be guided through a variety of weekly learning activities which are designed to develop your understanding of and skills in the themes and passages covered in the syllabus. Students should allow 10 hours of study time per week for this advanced subject.


We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built.
Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E.
© 2024 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.