The Objectives of Training

From the Standards of the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy

The Overall Objectives of Clinical Pastoral Training are:

  1. development of the uniqueness of the trainee’s person as a gift through which the trainee is able to offer a pastoral relationship to persons in crisis who might present a variety of theological and cultural perspectives.
  2. development of a professional identity as chaplain/pastoral counselor through the integration of theory, theology and the integration of pastoral care.
  3. development of conceptual competence in personality and psychosocial development; group and systems theory; the resource of religious symbols and values; and the psychology of the religious experience.

The Specific Objectives (referred to as “Competencies of Pastoral Clinicians” in the CPSP Standards) are:

  • Demonstrated ability to make use of the clinical process and the clinical method of learning. This includes the formulation of clinical data, the ability to receive and utilize feedback and consultation, and to make creative use of supervision;
  • Development of the self as a work in progress, and understanding of the self as the principal tool in pastoral care and counseling. This includes the ability to reflect and interpret one’s own life story both psychologically and theologically.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish a pastoral bond with persons and groups in various life situations and crisis circumstances.
  • Demonstration of basic care and counseling, including listening, empathy, reflection, analysis of problems, conflict resolution, theological reflection and the demonstration of a critical eye so as to examine and evaluate human behavior and religious symbols for their meaning and significance.
  • Demonstrated ability to make a pastoral diagnosis with special reference to the nature and quality of religious values.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide critical analysis of one’s own religious tradition.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the dynamics of group behavior and the variety of group experiences, and the effective utilization of the support, confrontation and clarification of the peer group for the integration of personal attributes and pastoral functioning.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and engage in ministry with persons across cultural boundaries.
  • Demonstrated ability to utilize individual supervision for personal and professional growth, and for developing the capacity to evaluate one’s ministry.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as a pastoral member on an interdisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated ability to make effective use of the behavioral sciences in pastoral ministry.
  • Demonstration of increasing leadership ability and personal authority.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with the basic literature of the field: clinical, behavioral, and theological.