Pastoral Counselling: Marriage and Family

This postgraduate unit introduces the theoretical perspectives of family therapy whilst concurrently integrating theological perspectives. It seeks to equip the pastoral practitioner to work effectively with engaged couples, families, married couples and individuals. It begins with biblical and contemporary views of marriage and family and moves on to preparation for marriage, systems therapy and use of various tools, family therapies, attachment, bonding and intimacy, positioning of the counsellor/pastoral care worker, chaplain in relationship to the family as expressed in the different therapies, singles, single parents, grandparents, gender issues in marriage and family, power in couple relationships, the role and resolution of conflict in relationships, sexuality, and the changing shape of families.

Study Level



Christian Life and Ministry

Sub Discipline

Pastoral Counselling

Credit Points




Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. assess, analyse and synthesise information in relation to biblical models of marriage and family life, and compare and contrast these with models prevalent in contemporary society
  2. establish a thorough knowledge of the universal themes of Family Therapy and the unique contribution and clinical application of the various models
  3. integrate the family life cycle stages, and literature on related issues, with the student‘s theological perspective, and derive implications for the Christian counsellor and Pastoral carer
  4. show a critical appreciation of the need for professional and personal reflection and evaluation in shaping the student‘s individual counselling perspective and style
  5. exhibit a well-developed competency and evaluation in the development and practice of relationship preparation skills.
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