Concordia Theological Monthly

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Document Type



pastoral counseling, care ministry, relationship, counselor, grace, faith

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


In his editorial preface to a volume titled An Introduction to Pastoral Counseling, Wayne Oates makes the observation: "The pastor, regardless of his training, does not enjoy the privilege of electing whether or not he will counsel with his people. … His choice is not between counseling or not counseling, but between counseling in a disciplined and skilled way and counseling in an undisciplined and unskilled way." Recent studies have also made it very clear that pastors hold a central and strategic position as counselors in today's society. Clinebell succinctly phrases the challenge: "It is obvious that clergymen are on the front lines in the struggle to lift the loads of troubled persons!" Pastoral counseling then is a vital part of the pastoral care task of every minister of the Gospel. It is an area in which continual growth is essential to understanding people and the development of meaningful skills in serving their needs.


Practical Theology

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars