PT 432: Caring and Spiritual Accompaniment in Community

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Module Level


Time Allowance

20 weeks (1 hour a week)


Reflective Journal 50% Synthesis Paper 50%

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the ethos and methodologies of differing forms of accompaniment – Pastoral Counselling, Moral Guidance and Spiritual Accompaniment. By the end of the module, students will be familiar with best professional practices, while drawing upon the resources of the Christian tradition.

Indicative Syllabus

Pastoral Counselling

  1. Awareness: Self-Awareness, Reflective practice
  2. Frameworks: C. Rogers, E. Ericson, A. Maslow, G.Egan, J.M. Gotmann, S. Johnson, D. Siegel
  3. Attachment, Relationship Dynamics, Conflict, Trauma
  4. Counselling Modalities, Person Centred, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  5. Ethical Frameworks in Counselling
  6. Counselling Skills

Moral Guidance

  1. Principles of Pastoral Ethics
  2. Signposts in Moral Guidance
  3. Case Studies and Areas of Concern

Spiritual Accompaniment

  1. Models of Spiritual Direction
  2. Various Prayer Practices
  3. Ignatian Framework for Spiritual Accompaniment (Barry and Connolly)

Learning Outcomes

  • Appraise appropriate skills, resources and practices
  • Critically reflect on relevant case-material and experiences
  • Distinguish between types of Pastoral Accompaniment: Pastoral Counselling, Moral Guidance and Spiritual Accompaniment
  • Exhibit self-awareness and critical reflection as it relates to pastoral ministry and accompaniment
  • Recognise and explain the principles of best practice
  • Review foundational theory, theorists, church teaching and/or spiritual teachers


  • William A. Barry and William J. Connolly, The Practice of Spiritual Direction, revised and updated, New York: HarperOne, 2009.
  • Richard Gula, Moral Discernment, New York: Paulist Press, 1997.
  • Richard Gula, Just Ministry: Professional Ethics for Pastoral Ministers, New York: Paulist Press, 2007.
  • James Keenan, Moral Wisdom: Lessons and Texts from the Catholic Tradition, New York: Sheed & Ward, 2004.
  • Vincent MacNamara, New Life for Old: On Desire and Becoming Human, (Dublin: The Columba Press, 2004.
  • D. Mearns & B. Thorne, Person Centred Counselling in Action, 4th Edition, London: Sage, 2013.