Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (M.Div)


Practical Theology

First Advisor

William Danker

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Luke 1:79; Psalm 23;


This paper hopes to explore the area of pastoral counseling to the dying child and his family. The paper views such a ministry as having three major facets. First is the ministry to the dying child himself. While this seems elementary, it is often neglected, often because of the minister’s own difficulty with the death of a child. It must be realized that childhood is not a homogeneous unit but that there are sharply differentiated stages within childhood. The five-year-old reacts to death in ways considerably different from the adolescent. Thus research along these lines, along with its pastoral implications will be reviewed. Secondly there is ministry to the family during the course of illness. Then there is ministry to the family at the point of death and beyond. The word emphasized in these two latter facets is family. For the death of a child affects not only his parents but most certainly his siblings and possibly others in the family constellation. In addition no such paper could be complete without a consideration of the minister’s role and problems. Finally such a paper must enunciate a theology of death, as must all such counseling with the dying. It is hoped that such a theology will permeate the pages of this report, so that the concluding summation is just that. It should also be stated that one major goal of this paper is to disseminate the information we can glean from nontheological sources, often without pastoral comment. Such is justifiable when one realizes that a prerequisite of any counseling is affirm knowledge of the field.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.