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The Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is pleased to offer religious leaders in both parish and specialized ministries the opportunity to participate in consultation groups designed to support and enhance their ministries.

PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING CASE CONSULTATION GROUPS

Registration is closed for 2013-2014 Groups.

The Pastoral Care and Counseling Case Consultation Groups are offered for pastors who seek to improve their knowledge and skill in pastoral care and counseling. Each group is limited to eight participants and meets for a four-hour block, once a month, for 10 months, with some groups beginning in September and another in January, if needed. Meetings will be scheduled to fit the needs of participants. Each session involves collaborative consultation around case studies from the ministries of group members. All pastoral care groups are facilitated by Christie Cozad Neuger.

This year we are offering two kinds of pastoral care case consultation groups:

  • one for religious leaders working primarily in congregations
  • one for religious leaders working primarily in specialized pastoral care settings (e.g. chaplains, pastoral counselors.)

Please contact Christie Neuger, C) 612.978.4835, for more information about the 2014-2015 consultation groups.

The cost of each 10-month consultation track is $550 per person. Clergy in the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church may be able to obtain scholarship funds from their conference setting or annual conference. This may also apply to ministers in other denominations.

Downloadable registration form for consultation groups.


CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

This is a Certificate Program and is also eligible for CEU credits. In addition, completion of this program will partially meet the requirements for Pastoral Care Specialist designation in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). Periodic one-day courses will be held on special topics. The courses, together with participation in the group, will enable those who complete a total of 50 contact hours to apply for membership in the AAPC as “Pastoral Care Specialists.”


SPECIAL TOPICS COURSES

Periodic one-day courses may be held to support the work being done in the Institute's consultation groups. Special Topics Courses are open to all religious leaders and are not limited to persons enrolled in Consultation Groups. Please contact Christie Neuger for more information about Special Topics Courses.

 
MISSION
  • Promote continued growth in pastoral excellence
  • Provide resources and support for ministers serving in parish and specialized settings
  • Focus on deepening reflection and practice of the arts of ministry
  • Address significant issues in personal leadership


THE DIRECTOR

Christie Cozad Neuger
Christie Cozad Neuger has served as a pastor, chaplain, pastoral counselor and professor. An ordained United Methodist elder, she received her Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and her Ph.D. from Claremont School of Theology.

Christie is a world-renowned leader in the field of pastoral care and counseling. Over the past 23 years, Christie has been a professor of pastoral counseling at Princeton Theological Seminary, United Theological Seminary and Brite Divinity School, where she is now Professor Emerita. She is a diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and an active member in the Society for Pastoral Theology.

Besides numerous articles and chapters, Christie has published four books, Counseling Women: A Narrative Pastoral Approach; The Arts of Ministry: A Feminist-Womanist Approach (edited); The Care of Men (co-edited with James Poling); and Men’s Work in Preventing Violence Against Women (co-edited with James Poling).


SPECIAL TOPICS COURSES OFFERED IN THE PAST
(all courses led by Christie Neuger, unless otherwise noted)

ASSESSING AND DEALING WITH ISSUES OF SUICIDE
A University of Michigan study finds that approximately 40% of people, when experiencing significant trouble in their lives, seek help from clergy. Among people who attend religious services, the number is over 50%. Pastors are often the first people to notice that a crisis is brewing for a person or family as subtle signs begin to emerge. In this course we will explore the crisis of suicide, one of the areas in which clergy seem to experience the most difficulty when providing pastoral care and counseling. We will look at factors that seem to be related to increased suicidal threat, how to assess for that threat, and how to provide crisis care and referral for people at immediate risk. We will also look at how to work with people who are at risk but not in immediate crisis. And we will work together on pastoral care strategies with people who have experienced the death of a loved one through suicide.

ISSUES IN END-OF-LIFE CARE
Caring for people at the end of life and helping congregants prepare for end-of-life concerns are key elements of pastoral ministry. In this course we will look at how to help people in the congregation have appropriate conversations about end-of-life issues. We will explore the role of advance directives, ethical wills, and intergenerational conversations about end-of-life preferences and preparation. We will also look at theological and spiritual issues associated with end-of-life meaning-making. Finally, we will discuss grief dynamics and grief care.

REFRESHER IN PASTORAL CARE FOR CLERGY AND LAY CAREGIVERS
Pastoral care is a foundational ministry of the church. Congregants count on care and support from their pastors and church community when they experience struggles in their lives. We, as religious leaders, don’t have a choice about whether we provide pastoral care – only whether we do it well or not. In this course we will explore the basics of good pastoral care in the variety of situations in which it occurs. Key elements will include: general pastoral visitation, maintaining boundaries and balance, strategies for assessing pastoral needs, working with grief dynamics, making good referrals, and organizing as a congregation to provide mutual care.

REFRESHER IN PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING WITH COUPLES
In this course we will explore various aspects of the theory and practice of pastoral counseling with couples over typical family life cycles. We will look at the kinds of needs that couples are likely to have including: preparation for marriage, adjustments to parenting, addressing couple conflict, communication challenges, making decisions about separation and divorce, and seeking couple enrichment.

NEW DIRECTIONS IN GRIEF CARE
One of the most enduring roles of religious leaders is that of accompanying individuals, families, and communities through bereavement and grief. In the past 10 years new grief theory has emerged that has significant implications for this kind of pastoral care. In this course we will look at some of these new ideas as they provide resources for how we might best care for grieving people through the funeral and beyond.

FACILITATING DIFFICULT DISCUSSIONS
In this course participants will learn about the dynamics of polarized conflict and practice powerful tools that promote compassionate and respectful communication. We will explore how to bring a peaceful and faith-filled presence to conflict, allowing disputes to deepen rather than harm the fabric of relationship in our communities.
The instructor: Rabbi Amy Eilberg

ADVANCED NARRATIVE RESOURCES FOR PASTORAL COUNSELING
In this course we will move from the key assumptions and principles of Narrative practice addressed in the October workshop to the three basic types of Narrative conversations. The counseling purpose of Narrative conversation is to help people construct a preferred reality through the stories they tell. These stories help a care seeker retrieve and make meaningful experiences in their life that have not been fully available to them but in which reside the resources and identity they need for addressing their current difficulties. Course prerequisite: either the October workshop or previous exposure to Narrative theory ideas.

NARRATIVE RESOURCES FOR PASTORAL COUNSELING
In this course we will focus on Narrative Counseling theory and the resources it offers to pastoral caregivers. This Narrative Counseling approach, highly influenced by various liberation theories, reflects an attentiveness to both culture and person. It is deeply respectful, relies on a consultative rather than an expert model, and is elegant in both its simplicity and thoroughness. Narrative theory’s efficient and effective qualities as well as the de-centering of the counselor in the counseling process make this approach particularly well-suited to both parish pastors and pastoral care specialists.

CRISIS CARE: PART II
This course picks up where Crisis Care: Part I left off (although attendance at the earlier class is not a prerequisite). In this event we will review crisis care and referral principles and then focus on two particular pastoral care crises: alcohol addiction and mental illness among people to whom we minister.

BOUNDARIES, BALANCE, AND SELF-CARE
In this course we will explore together how to maintain the kind of life-giving practices and balanced lifestyle that can best sustain an effective and long-lived ministry. We will investigate how things like our models of ministry, our theological commitments, and our self-understandings work together to impact our personal and professional well-being over time.

CRISIS CARE, ASSESSMENT, AND REFERRAL
According to a Gallup poll, clergy are among the most trusted professionals in society. A University of Michigan study found that approximately 40% of people, when experiencing significant trouble in their lives, seek help from clergy. Among people who attend religious services, the number is over 50%. Pastors are often the first people to notice that a crisis is brewing for a person or family as subtle signs begin to emerge. In this course we will explore three different kinds of crises - mental illness, addiction, and domestic abuse - and the potential role of the pastor in assessment, crisis intervention, referral, and ongoing supportive care. The course is designed with parish pastors particularly in mind but is also appropriate for chaplains and specialist pastoral counselors.

NARRATIVE THEORY RESOURCES FOR PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELING
This course focuses on Narrative Counseling theory and the effective and empowering resources it offers to pastoral caregivers. The Narrative Counseling approach, highly influenced by various liberation theories, reflects an attentiveness to both culture and person. It is deeply respectful, relies on a consultative rather than expert model, and is elegant in both its simplicity and thoroughness. It is a theory based on hope and on the foundational reality that human beings are meaning-making at their deepest core and that reality is constructed as we make meaning out of our experience. Narrative theory's efficient and effective qualities, as well as the de-centering of the counselor in the counseling process, make this approach particularly well suited to both parish pastors and specialist pastoral counselors and chaplains.

 
Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries
Consultation Groups
Mission
Institute Director
Certificate Program
Special Topics
Special Topics - Past Offerings
 

 

Interested in participating
or
want to know more?

Contact
Christie Neuger
Director

c) 612.978.4835

"Evidence suggests that, even though seminaries do their best to prepare students for ministry, much of their learning (particularly in the practices of ministry) comes after ministers leave school. This "on the job” learning can be greatly enhanced by the structure and support offered by the programs the Institute will offer.”

~ Christie C. Neuger
Founding Director
and United’s Distinguished
Senior Scholar
in Pastoral Care

 

GROUP PARTICIPANT FEEDBACK

“This was a high-quality group experience. The smaller group encouraged trust within the group. The input from the facilitator was helpful and encouraging. At no time was a student treated disrespectfully or shamed in any way.”

 

“When leaving seminary 11 years ago, I didn’t have a
sense of the core questions that now walk with me. Having a chance to unpack them in a safe and richly peopled place has been a gift.”

 

“It was valuable to be in a professional group and to share in our ongoing work. I feel less isolated in my work life.”


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