New Pastoral Care Course
We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new Pastoral Care course – a joint initiative between Biblical Counselling UK and Crosslands Training. Here’s an introduction to the new course – why we’ve created it, who’s been involved, and what to expect from it.
What’s the new course all about?
Written by Steve Midgley and Helen Thorne of Biblical Counselling UK, the Pastoral Care course is part of Crosslands’ Foundation programme. Like other courses in this suite, it’s a 9-session course for individuals and church groups. It helps ordinary believers with no prior training in biblical counselling to explore what pastoral care is and why it’s an important part of being church, and how we can all be involved in doing it well. It does not aim to equip people to become expert counsellors or paid therapists – rather it’s designed to help regular Christians in regular churches to move towards each other, in all the varied circumstances of life, and help each other persevere, discover hope and change to be more like Christ.
What does the course cover?
Over 9 sessions the course helps learners understand how the church is designed to be a place of care; how we are all people who struggle, and to introduce a biblical model of change. It then seeks to equip people for involvement in that communal process of change by looking at the importance of character, listening well and speaking in ways that are both Scripture-fuelled and kind. The final couple of sessions enable us to see the wonderful place of practical service in the local church, and to navigate some of the trickier topics surrounding caring for others such as, power and confidentiality. Overall, it provides a basic training – a foundation – in church-based pastoral care.
Who is the course for?
Anyone involved – or wanting to be involved – in walking alongside others in their local church will benefit from taking this course. The only prerequisites are to love God, love others and be able to engage with online course material written in English. The course might be particularly helpful for small group leaders, members of pastoral care teams, and other mature Christians who find themselves having lots of conversations with people or requests for pastoral care, and who want to be better equipped to point people to Christ in the good times and the bad. For some it may also turn out to be a first step towards more in-depth training in biblical counselling.
Why was the course written?
Crosslands has been undertaking a complete redevelopment of our Foundation resources, and we were keen to include a new pastoral care module as part of the revised curriculum. Biblical Counselling UK has long had a passion for a short, accessible course to introduce church members to pastoral care. Their Certificate in Biblical Counselling is wonderful but not everyone is able to set aside the time and resources necessary to engage in 3 years part-time study. As we engaged in conversation about our respective plans there seemed a perfect opportunity for partnership and over the past 6 months, we have had a wonderful time developing the material together. Crosslands’ learning design specialist, Jason Ramasami, has worked closely with Steve Midgley and Helen Thorne on this course, adding a visual dimension to help embed key ideas. Together we hope we’ve created a learning experience that is biblical, accessible and practical.
How does the course work?
Whilst it is quite possible to study the material alone at home (it’s online, flexible – you can start any time) the best way to study would be as part of a church group. Every student can work through the reading, reflections, videos, exercises and case studies whenever suits them but, if taking the course as a group, there will also be opportunities for you to organise meetings amongst yourselves to discuss what you have been learning and work out how best to put it into action in your local context.
The course includes a mixture of video and reading content, images that illustrate key ideas, and activities to reflect, recap, pray, and apply what you are learning.
What is our prayer for the course?
Helen Thorne, one of the course’s creators, says her prayers are that “Christians up and down the country will be more inspired to walk alongside their brothers and sisters in Christ in intentional ways; that churches will be better equipped to offer pastoral care that is deeply rooted in Christ and that people who are struggling will know the joy of help and hope in even the toughest of times”.
From Crosslands’ perspective, we know that the ministry of Biblical Counselling UK has been an enormous blessing to the church in the UK. We praise God for the way this ministry continues to grow and develop as the Lord enables it. Partnering with Helen and Steve on this project has been brilliant: gospel collaboration at its best! We commend this new Foundation course to churches. Our prayer is that it serves local churches and their leaders well, helping to form disciples whose godly care for one another and for the lost brings glory to Christ.
Please do join with us in praying for those things.
How do I find out more?
Although you can take the course as an individual, we’d love to encourage you to take this course with a group – as well as discounted pricing, group study tends to have so much more impact! The learning platform makes group study very easy to co-ordinate, and it means you can interact with each other on reflection questions, set dates for completing different steps, and have a group leader or moderator who can track how everyone is doing and send messages and reminders.
We can get you set up as a group if you apply here, or if you need to discuss group study options you can email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call. If you want to study on your own, you can sign up and start right away using this link.