Explore the concept of formation in pastoral counseling from a variety of perspectives Two dozen of the most prominent clinicians and scholars in the field reflect on The Formation of Pastoral Counselors from clinical, theological and theoretical perspectives. This unique book explores the challenges to the personal and professional formation of pastoral counselors in a cultural and historic context that’s radically different from the era when the profession first emerged as a specialized ministry. Contributors examine formation from a variety of contexts and perspectives, including spirituality and gender, address theological education and intercultural issues, and present emerging models for pastoral counselors. The Formation of Pastoral Counselors is a practical guide for educators working to shape curricula and training programs to the shifting context in which pastoral counselors are formed for ministry, service, and lifelong learning. This unique book examines ideas about appropriate content and processes for the formation of pastoral care professionals and looks at specialized contextual training models that form their emerging identities. The book’s contributors call on extensive experience in pastoral theology, care, and counseling to explore the essential components of formation across different contexts; how those contextual realities change the delivery systems; the epistemological nature of formation; reasons for the limited roles that formal theological education and spiritual experience seem to play at the moment; and why formation is rarely formally addressed in pastoral counseling training. Topics discussed in The Formation of Pastoral Counselors include:

  • the turn to formation
  • the goals of theological education
  • core elements of pastoral theology
  • developing spiritual practices
  • diversity
  • pastoral counseling training programs
  • race and ethnicity in the formation of pastoral counselors
  • cultural identity
  • intercultural contexts
  • practical relevancy in training
  • gender identity and sexual orientation
  • economic disparity Models and practices examined in The Formation of Pastoral Counselors include:
  • parallel charting
  • clinician narratives
  • group supervision
  • Benedictine spirituality
  • academic and clinical training at the Claremont School of Theology
  • the model of formation at the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care (VIPCare)
  • and much more

The Formation of Pastoral Counselors is an essential guide for pastoral counselors, faculty in pastoral theological care and counseling, and training directors in pastoral counseling centers.

part |7 pages


chapter |7 pages


Content, Context, Models and Practices
ByDuane R. Bidwell, Joretta L. Marshall

part |133 pages

Content and Context

chapter |21 pages

Thick Theory

Psychology, Theoretical Models, and the Formation of Pastoral Counselors
ByPamela Cooper-White

chapter |17 pages

Spirituality and the Formation of Pastoral Counselors

ByJoseph D. Driskill

chapter |13 pages

Pastoral Formation of Counselors in Intercultural Societies

ByTapiwa N. Mucherera

chapter |12 pages

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Pastoral Formation

ByJoretta L. Marshall

chapter |17 pages

Formation in the Context of Economic Disparity

ByZina Jacque

part |78 pages

Models and Practices

chapter |12 pages

Formation Through Parallel Charting

Clinician Narratives and Group Supervision
ByDuane R. Bidwell

chapter |12 pages

A Model for the Spiritual Formation of a Pastoral Counseling Center

ByP. Mark Watts, David B. Reynolds

chapter |19 pages

Formation for Care of Souls

The Claremont Way
ByKathleen J. Greider, William M. Clements, K. Samuel Lee

chapter |11 pages

A Model of Formation

The Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care
ByHunter R. Hill, Bonnasue, Dennett C. Slemp, W. Victor Maloy

chapter |12 pages

Expanding the Context of Care

Formation from the Inside Out and the Outside In
ByCharles Mendenhall, Douglas M. Ronsheim