Theology- pastoral counseling

Pastoral Counselor’s Identity and Ethics

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1.0 Abstract…………………………………………………………………………3
2.0 Introduction…………………………………………………………………….3
3.0 The research-based model for religious identity and ethical boundaries……….3
4.0 Professional Partners for Pastoral Counseling………………………………….5
5.0 Issues Addressed by an Organization’s Ethical Guidelines………………………6
6.0 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………….7


1.0 Abstract

Pastoral career is a critical career that is necessary for spiritual growth and guidance.
Many pastors divide their duties into three main categories. Leadership, preaching and pastoral
care. Pastors play a significant role in spreading the word of God in their teachings. Besides that,
they act as leaders of the Christians in the churches. Pastors This paper discusses the various
issues that pastors address in their line of work. It specifically tackles the issue of research
paradigms, professional partnerships that support their professional growth. It also discusses the
pre-counseling and counseling packages given to care-seekers by the pastors. Finally, it discusses
the spiritual formation truths, insights, and techniques integrated into the paradigm.

2.0 Introduction

Pastoral counselor’s identity is a paramount issue in the community in that it is very common.
Ethics as the acceptable code of behavior is something that need to be applied in the pastoral
career as it is a self-initiative tool to act professionally. As pastors are in the line of duty, they
address many issues a part of their mission they are called to do. Research paradigms and
professional partnerships that support their professional growth is one of the key issues of the
pastors. Paradigms is characterized by a number of features such as competence, education
among others. Also, pre-pastoral counselling is also an issue of the pastors. Counselling requires
procedures that are to be applied during the counselling process and how the parties should
interact with each other. Confidentiality is necessary during counselling and giving the most
appropriate solution is the main aim of the whole procedure.
3.0 The research-based model for religious identity and ethical boundaries.
The most appropriate standard to apply in this case is the paradigm for identity and moral
boundaries. In this paradigm, which is the framework that contains the necessary ways of


thinking, methodology, and assumptions that are commonly accepted by members of a scientific
community, one identifies himself as a person called by God and is under the authority and
standards of the word of God (London, 2014). In this case, the pastoral counselor is under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit and works in integrity ensuring that he does the right thing for those
being given care. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, He ascended into heaven and
promised to send a helper to his disciples. The helper he was referring to was the holy spirit that
would contribute some roles to the disciples. One of the roles of the holy spirit to the disciples it
was to encourage and help them as they continue their mission of spreading the good news. The
disciples of today refer to the pastors, and the holy spirit will always help them identify
themselves of people called by God to offer services to the people.
This paradigm also calls for the counselor to be confined in the boundaries of ethics
which guide his counseling procedures. Ethics is the acceptable code of behavior mostly in a
certain profession. Pastoral as a profession has its acceptable code of behavior that guides the
pastors toward offering quality services to the Christian community. These values help regulate
the processes in a world where people accept unethical behavior (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings,
2014) and also make these systems useful. This paradigm is characterized by aspects such as
education, competency, autonomy, service, dedication, and ethics. As a pastor, one must go
through a learning process to study theology. While in the learning process the pastors gain vast
knowledge about the bible hence he is prepared for the missionary purposes of spreading the
gospel. Also, the pastors are trained other skills like communication skills, guidance and
leadership skills among others that will boost their career into a higher level.
In education, the counselor furthers his education on the scripture. Competency ensures
that he uses his skills and gifts to the maximum and autonomy ensures that he acts as a servant


leader just as Jesus Christ while ethics ensure that the pastor has not only spiritual guidance but
also professional guidance (Montgomery, 2007). To be a complete and a competent pastor one
must have gone through theoretical and practical education. The theoretic education ensures that
the pastor has the preaching content while the practical ensure that the pastor can share what
learnt effectively with others.

4.0 Professional Partners for Pastoral Counseling

Partners for rural counselling are the people, organizations or groups that work together
with the counselors to ensure that the counseling procedures are carried out effectively and
efficiently. Counselling is essential as it helps to guide the people in need on how to go about a
specific challenge. In the community, there are some problems like family issues, financial
difficulties, relationship challenges, mental challenges among others that people face. These
partners provide financial support, moral support and cooperate with the lawyers to make sure
that they meet their goals in providing those being counselee receive maximum help.
The most useful kind of partnership in the case of pastoral counseling is the local
association of peers ("Common codes of Ethic for chaplains, Pastors Counselor," 2017). It is a
group located in the neighborhood of the church or within the local community. Many people in
the community need and seek counselling. Some of the people benefit from the counseling while
the counseling procedures may not positively impact others. The team may be facing various
problems such as financial constraints, frustrations, depression, divorce among others. This
group is the most efficient team in the counseling procedures as it is the most affected group.It is
a fragile team that needs constant attention and partnering with them makes it easy to reach out
to them and meet their needs.


To be a professional partner, one needs to understand the codes of conduct of the
organization. The code of behavior acts as a backbone for a healthy relationship in the
organization. Knowing what to do without being ordered by rules and law is essential and
effective as it avoids complications and excess regulations. In the organization, one needs to
share the same goals with the team hence driving towards achieving the same purpose. Unity of
purposes is a significant role in meeting the organizational goals and objectives. One also needs
to follow the ethics of the organization (The National Christian Counselors Association, 2017).
The ethics of the teams are the set rules and policies besides the organization culture that guides
peoples action in the organization.

4.0 Issues Addressed by an Organization’s Ethical Guidelines.

The team addresses ethical guidelines such as all the counselees will be respected
regardless of their age, gender, need and religion. Respect is the first and main important aspect
in ethics. The individual must learn how to respect others, their opinions, and their properties.
Also having emotional intelligence by knowing the impact of your emotions and words on others
is important in counseling career. Confidentiality is the second guideline, and it requires that all
the information between the counselor and the counselee shall be private and confidential
(American Association of Christian Counselors, 2015). As a part of ethic, the individuals
involved in the counseling procedure should not attach any love feeling on their duty. There shall
be no romantic relationship between the counselor and the counselee, and finally, the counselee
will be well informed of the procedures the instructor will use on him (National Association of
Evangelicals, 2012). The counselee should not be manipulated by the instructor any way that is
out of guidance procedure.


5.0 Conclusion

Pastoral counseling is very significant in the community as it helps to reduce some
negative cases such as divorces. The counselors need to be competent with their career since the
counselee highly accepts their decision and opinions. Applying professional ethic is essential in
offering the services as required. Pastors act as the spiritual role model of the people in the
community, and they need to set a right image for emulation. Guidance procedure needs to be
followed when solving counseling issues to avoid mistakes. There should be a direct and open
platform between the counselor and the counselee to solve the issue precisely. The identity of
pastors needs to be maintained in its highest leveled purity to avoid mistrust from the followers.



AAPC. (2017). Ethics – American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Retrieved from
American Association of Christian Counselors. (2015). American Association of Christian
Counselors » Page not found. Retrieved from
Common codes of Ethic for chaplains, Pastors Counselor. (2017). Retrieved from…/common_code_ethics
Diocese of Great Falls-Billings. (2014). Code of Pastor Conduct. Retrieved from…/Code%20of%20Pastoral%20Conduct%20Combined
London, H. (2014). Ethics And Ministry – Living Above Reproach. Retrieved from
Montgomery, M. (2007). Dual Relationships and Pastoral Counseling. Retrieved from
National Association of Evangelicals. (2012). Code of Ethics for Pastors – National Association
of Evangelicals. Retrieved from
The National Christian Counselors Association. (2017). The Pastoral Counselor: His identity
and work | SpringerLink. Retrieved from



Appendix1: Pre-pastoral Counseling Package

It is a package that contains different aspects that are used when a pastoral counselor is
taking in a new counselee, and this ensures that the procedure is taken into consideration. It also
ensures that the counselor stays which is stipulated in the ethical boundaries (AAPC, 2017).
These aspects include; simple intake counseling form, a confidentiality covenant and the code of
The confidentiality covenant ensures that what will be discussed between the counselor
and the counselee will remain a secret between the two. The agreement is important as it helps
the counselee to be open and confident while sharing the challenges or problems that he is
facing. Also, it protects the image and privacy of the counselee. A large number of individuals
do not like when their information is let out to other peoples, and they tend to hold on the
information if they detect the risk of in confidentiality. This aspect of privacy needs to be upheld
to the highest level possible to avoid later complains and mistrust if someone information is
linked out. The simple intake form ensures that there is no bias while counseling the individuals.
The code of ethic is the significant aspect as it affirms the whole guidance process. Counselor
applying the acceptable code of ethics should offer quality guidance without any hidden motives.

Criteria Points


Paper Content & Organization

 All key components of the paper are identified with sufficient
organizational clarity and logical flow
 Major points were supported with evidence from the readings and
web-engagements with concise explanation and citation


Professional Paradigm Content & Organization
 Major elements of professional identity were clearly identified
with concise explanation.
 Concise synthesis of issues to be addressed in ethical guidelines.



 Evidence of background check notification
 Professional partnerships identified with sufficient detail of type,
location, and expectations.
 Where appropriate, spiritual formation truths, insights, and
techniques were integrated into the paradigm.
Pre-Counseling Package Content & Organization
 Package is contextually branded; all key components of package
are identified (i.e., intake; informed consent including brief
description of length/number of sessions, note-taking strategy,
homework, referral process, and confidentiality covenant; ethical
guidelines) with organizational clarity and placed in Appendix
 All forms fit a non-licensure and/or church counseling context


Readability and Current APA Guidelines

 Spelling and grammar are correct.
 Sentences are complete, clear, concise, and contain appropriately
varied sentence structure.
 Annotations contain appropriately varied sentence structures.
 Essential elements are supported appropriately with correct
citations and references.


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