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Course Peek: Counseling Skills

Personal Counseling Skills (F6404)

This course is an introduction to the basics of pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance. The course examines fundamentals of counseling, the role of prayer and Scripture in counseling, and when and how to make referrals to other caring professionals. Learners will use case studies and interactive techniques to develop their counseling skills.

This course will help you develop the following ministry competency: Provides pastoral care, counseling, and appropriate referrals for the sick, hurting, and grieving. (M-6)

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify primary counseling issues on your church field
  2. Apply the counseling skills of active listening, observing feelings, confrontation, interpretation/reframing, logical consequences, and self-disclosure to counseling situations
  3. Research, identify, and assess relevant counseling website resources
  4. Assess your tendency to struggle with common counselor mistakes
  5. Assess the impact of postmodernism on the counseling approach used at your church
  6. Examine your counseling approach in light of the strategic pastoral counseling model

Required Textbooks:

Christian Counseling Casebook, Author: Gary R. Collins, ISBN: 978-1418516604 (Thomas Nelson, 2007)
Strategic Pastoral Counseling: A Short-Term Structured Model, Author: David G. Benner, ISBN: 978-0801026317 (Baker Academic, 2 edition, 2003) Kindle version

Course Overview

Unit 1: What You Will Learn
Unit 2: Counseling & Personal Change
Unit 3: The Christian Counselor
Unit 4: Christian Counseling
Unit 5: Pastoral Counseling Skills I
Unit 6: Pastoral Counseling Skills II
Unit 7: Legal & Ethical Issues
Unit 8: Learning Assessment

What was the most enjoyable aspect of the course?

  • I love interacting with the other students. I felt heard and encouraged.
  • The interaction with the students and with the teacher
  • I especially enjoyed Benner’s book (“Strategic Pastoral Counseling”), the microskills training, and various discussions within the forums.
  • The forums….as always. The skills tests…these really helped to reinforce the theory.
  • Reading the textbooks and applying this new knowledge
  • I found learning about the strategic pastoral counseling model to be extremely helpful. It allowed me to evaluate the way that I set up counseling meetings and make adjustments accordingly. I also thought that learning the counseling skills in the unit lectures was helpful to evaluate the way that I am talking to people and how effective that is.
  • The classroom discussions

(Recent learners on course evaluations)

Course Schedule: 2014 Term 6 (Oct 28-Dec 22) – MDiv, MML

Courses are taught fully online in 8-week terms. Each course allows students to build learning from the context of their own ministry roles while enjoying the stimulation of a global learning community. Learners are guided by academically qualified professors with current and relevant ministry experience.