Pastoral Ministry Professor Bruce L. Peterson explains that 21th century pastoral care involves more than just those who take the title "Pastor". Laity and small groups need to have a hand in the care of soul as well, if the church is to be healthy. The roles of shepherding, counseling, and collaboration are clarified. The pastor's presence in conflict resolution, crisis, through suffering, and death is also dealt with.
Most people focus on pastoral ministry--the activities, programs, and outreach connected with the life of the church--when considering the work of a pastor. But one of the most important parts of a minister’s job is pastoral care--activities such as compassion, healing, sustaining, guiding, and reconciling people to one another and to God. People today earnestly seek a minister who knows their names and cares about their hurts.Foundations of Pastoral Care introduces both clergy and laity to the ministry skills and personal qualities needed to provide effective care for people inside and outside the church. With thorough examination, Professor Bruce Petersen traces the historical development of soul care from the primitive church and on through the centuries to the church of today. In unit one, he introduces the place of pastoral care in the local church. He emphasizes the unique responsibility of church leaders and pastors to provide spiritual guidance while caring for the physical and emotional needs of their people. In unit two, he examines the pastoral care roles clergy are asked to fill--shepherd, counselor, collaborator, and spiritual leader. In unit three, he addresses the need for a pastoral presence in the life of the church, and in unit four, he concludes with a discussion about the pastor’s personal life and the importance of personal spiritual formation.Foundations of Pastoral Care provides the fundamental elements pastors and church leaders need to care for people in meaningful, personal ways with the love, compassion, and grace Christ showed during His ministry on earth.
Bruce L. Petersen spent 28 years in pastoral ministry before accepting his present position as a professor of pastoral ministry at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He received his doctor of ministry degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. In addition to training students for future ministry, he is a frequent church and conference speaker.