"With generative wisdom, Gerkin moves beyond the predominance of the psychotherapeutic paradigm in pastoral care to a dynamic, interactive process which balances faith, culture, community, and individual well-being. . . . Gerkin's history of pastoral care is skillful. . . . His analysis of the current transitions in the field of care will make this book a classic."--Jeanne Stevenson Moessner, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, and the Georgia Association for Pastoral Care "Out of the abundance of his many years as a pastoral caregiver and theologian, Gerkin introduces readers to the history, theory, and practice of pastoral care. This book represents the best of Protestant liberal pastoral theology and fills a long-standing gap. . . . The narrative-hermeneutical paradigm which Gerkin offers holds and works with many of the complexities of pastoral care in postmodern times."--Carrie Doehring, School of Theology, Boston University "Gerkin's Introduction to Pastoral Care breaks new ground for an introductory text in its emphasis on care as 'the central metaphor of life in the Christian community.' Thus the scope is much larger than the more usual focus only on individual and family needs. He is deeply sensitive to both individual and community dimensions through his quadrilateral nexus of tradition, individuals and family, community, and cultural context."--James N. Lapsley, Princeton Theological Seminary "The formula appears simple: take the very best of pastoral care theory and research of the past, build upon it the best of contemporary literature and practice in the pastoral arts and sciences, season it with rich experiences of a pioneer in the pastoral care, counseling, and education movement, and you have a solid bridge to the 21st century. Gerkin has proven the formula. . . . [Gerkin] articulates a pastoral care for the 21st century."--Orlo C. Strunk, Jr., Pastoral Psychotherapist at The Coastal Samaritan Center, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.