Week 2 Study Question


Fall 2017 PMIN 511: Pastoral Care, Counseling and Conflict


Study Questions


Book: Van Deusen Hunsinger, Deborah. Pray Without Ceasing: Revitalizing Pastoral Care. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006


1. What, according to the author is “at the heart of Christian life”?


2. What, according to theologian Karl Barth is the definition of “cure of souls?”


3. What does discernment of another’s true need require?


4.  What is the central purpose of Christian pastoral care?


5.  How does the “priesthood of all believers” relate to pastoral care?


6. What is the criterion by which we judge the value of any gift (for ministry)?


7. What is the ordained pastor’s role in the community?


8. How does a community build and express koinonia?


9. What is the result if pastoral caregivers immerse themselves in the Psalms?


10 What was the attitude and practice of  the fathers and mothers of the early church, monasteries and converts of the Middle Ages, Reformers of the sixteenth century practice when it came to Scripture?      


11. What is a “typological” reading of the text–explain.          


12. How do we judge the ideologies or movements for social change?


13. What is lectio divina (define) and what are its separate parts?       


14. How do we show love for God?


15. In listening to others, what do pastoral caregivers need?


16. What did St. Vincent de Paul state about the ministry of listening and presence?


17. Briefly explain “empathetic listening.


18. What are the steps in Rosenberg’s model of empathy/empathetic listening?


19a. To learn to listen deeply, one must learn to connect a person’s feelings with what else?  b. If one connects only to another’s feelings, what is the result (in pastoral care/listening)?


20. What are the three skills of good listening?


21. Essay question: Explain the theology of kononia.


22. What is one of the major factors that prevent people when listening well?


23. A. What are some possible problems with Gendlin’s process of focusing?  B. Do you agree/disagree with this process-briefly explain.


What happens when you try to eliminate or suppress your feelings?

The author notes the importance of relaxation in focusing and states that “Any kind of body awareness training- . . .yoga, Feldenkrais, t’ai chi, and qugong . . .can provide understanding of the connection between breathing and relaxation.  What are the problems inherent, in Christian pastoral care, relating to the above-named methods? Be specific.

The author gives an example of a pastor who was “verbally attacked” in a pastoral care situation.  a. Describe the pastor’s focused response. b. Do you agree with this response as a biblically-supported approach—explain.

Explain the process of transference, as understood in pastoral care and counseling.

Explain why simply “identifying a feeling” doesn’t give the pastoral care-giver enough information to move to action.

“Self-empathy” implies what about how a pastoral care-giver will attend to one’s self? According to Karl Bath, what is the real basis for prayer?

  What is the daily bread that sustains pastoral care-givers?

  What are the temptations from which pastoral care-givers in particular need deliverance?

    What two areas of accountability are needed-in the early years and throughout the lives of those who give pastoral care?

  What are some of the most important issues having to do with prayer at times of illness and death?


Explain why the pastoral care-giver’s listening is aimed toward prayer.



 Explain the meaning of prayers of lament.

    What is at the heart of lament?

  What is the goal of pastoral care when ministering to others going through times of lament?

  What transition occurs in Job’s life that changes his anguish to joy? Explain.

  What are pastoral caregivers to do when called to minister to someone in distress?

  What is the difference between a “therapeutic” attitude and a “pastoral” attitude in addressing the suffering of others?

  Why is community expression of lament so important?

  What does Scripture teach us concerning disorder in relationships as a symptom?

  Essay: Karl Barth called sin the “impossible possibility”. Explain the meaning of this paradox in relation to sin.

  “The very nature of sin is to _____________  ___________.”  Explain.

  There is no message more important to care, counseling and conflict ministry than the Gospel message. What are its main points?

  Explain James Torrance’s explanation of the difference between “legal repentance” and “evangelical repentance.” Do you agree-disagree: briefly explain your answer.

  Why is the order of repentance and grace so important to pastoral care?

  Summarize the differences between “worldly grief” and “godly grief”.

  Explain Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s concept of confession.

  How is psychotherapy different from the message of the Gospel?

  What is the problem in hierarchical relationships when it comes to confession and prayer for one another?

  Why is mutual confession essential in the “cure of souls” in today’s Church?

  What happens to caregivers who focus on who God is and what God has done?

  What does the art of pastoral prayer require?

  Why do situations of grief, as addressed in pastoral care, also call for praise to God?


Why is it so important that the Scriptures mold the church’s care-givers?




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