Pastoral care and personal development - Course details

Based on the four concepts of Listening, Understanding, Being and Journeying, both with yourself and others, the course helps participants to develop self-awareness, an essential skill for effective pastoral work, and also teaches the theory and practice of pastoral care and counselling skills in the context of the Christian faith.

Download the course leaflet here.

Module 1 - Listening to self and others

Module 1 provides an introduction to the principles of pastoral care, faith development using the Dynamic Cycle, a unique psychological and spiritual model. Working In small groups you will have the opportunity to become more self-aware, learning to receive help as well as give it.

Topics include:

  • Overview of life and personal stories

  • Listening and responding

  • Dynamic Cycle

  • Pastoral Care

  • Journeying and faith development

“Other courses taught me how to change to be more acceptable. This course accepted me as I was and helped me to change.” (Past attendee)

Module 2 - Understanding self and others

In Module 2 you will use the Dynamic Cycle to explore in more detail personal traits and trusting relationships. You will be invited to listen to others' personal stories and tell your own, helping to promote spiritual and psychological well-being.

Topics include:

  • Applying the Dynamic Cycle

  • Coping with change

  • Counselling skills

  • Personality Types

  • Psychological defences

  • Depression and links with the past

  • Other aspects of pastoral care

"It has been a wonderful journey to freedom." (Past delegate)

Module 3 - 'Being' with self and others

In this module you will be able to explore the development of identity from before birth to the end of life, relating the Dynamic Cycle to each stage of the journey. An important part of the module is the opportunity to reflect on your own experiences, making connections between the past and the present, and listening to those of others.

Topics include:

  • Identity stages and selfhood

  • Birth and pre-natal experiences

  • Childhood and adolescence

  • Painting therapyRelationships and sexuality

  • Mid life and ageing

  • The crises of life

  • Meaning and purpose

  • Bereavement and dying

  • Transitions and spiritual life

"I have learnt that it really is OK to be me, not the me I ought to be, just the me I am."
(Past delegate)

Module 4 - Journeying with self and others

Module 4 offers more tutored hours of personal development and practice in counselling skills with reflection and meditation. This is an organic process where tutors negotiate the programme with the group according to the needs of its members.

You will be invited to contribute what you have learnt from pastoral practice and identify in which areas you need to extend your learning. You will continue to learn more about helping and staying alongside others on their journeys.

There will be more opportunities to increase your self awareness and growth, building on the dynamics of the group, learning from group members and experiencing peer support.

"I will miss this course dreadfully – an oasis of calm, peace and serenity in an otherwise hectic life style." (Past delegate)