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    Pastoral care as the caring, nurturing and compassionate work of the church as a whole, increasingly viewed as outward-facing, lay-centred, and attentive to communal, societal and cross-cultural dynamics.

    The word 'pastoral' in pastoral care conjures up images of pastors - ministers, priests, clergy. Instead, this paper will present pastoral care as the work of the church as a whole. Thus, this paper will provide opportunities to explore pastoral care as missional, involving all Christians in a variety of settings.

    About this paper

    Paper title Current Perspectives on Pastoral Care
    Subject Pastoral Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    36 100-level points in any subject
    PAST 316
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Theology
    May not be credited together with PASX 207 or PASX 307 passed in 2013.
    Any student can study Theology, whether they are of the Christian faith, another faith or of no religious faith at all. Theology is an examination of the scriptures, history, content and relevance of the Christian faith, but it presupposes or requires no Christian commitment from students. All it requires is an inquiring mind and an interest in those skills that can be gained through the study of any subject in the Humanities.

    Dr Lynne Taylor email

    Teaching staff

    Lecturer: Dr Lynne Taylor

    Paper Structure


    • Introduction to Pastoral Care
    • Theological and Historical Underpinnings of Pastoral Care
    • The 20th Century Pastoral Care Paradigm and its Post-modern Critique
    • Wisdom From Beyond the West
    • Pastoral Care Today, Setting 1: The Congregation
    • Pastoral Care Today, Setting 2: Mental Health and Migration
    • Pastoral Care Today, Setting 3: An Unjust World


    • Online discussion - 15%
    • One assignment - 25%
    • Two assignments - 30% each
    Teaching Arrangements

    Six 2-hour videoconferences and one teaching day held in Wellington


    Textbooks are not required for this paper.

    Course outline
    View the course outline for PAST 216
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to

    • Understand the biblical and theological foundations of the church's ministry of pastoral care.
    • Grasp the basic elements of the 20th century therapeutic paradigm of pastoral care, and the reasons for its critique.
    • Have a clear understanding of the late 20th century shift toward the communal- context and intercultural paradigms of pastoral care.
    • Recognise the core components of today's congregational setting of pastoral care (lay involvement, pastoral care with families/couples, visitation ministries with the sick, the ageing, the dying and the bereaved). Be aware of key underlying principles and examples of pastoral care in the community setting, including pastoral care with prisoners, the homeless, and the mentally ill.
    • Understand the basics of what is entailed in intercultural pastoral care, with a particular focus on ministries with immigrants and refugees.
    • Comprehend the essence of the theological foundations and practical expressions of pastoral care in the context of global injustice, particularly pastoral care ministries with the poor.
    • Design a pastoral care programme for your church or community which incorporates relevant insights from your reading and research.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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