acpe_2019_0508_155155-0084_tavits photography

Pastoral Care Specialist Training Program

In times of crisis, the first place many turn to is their local church or faith community. Studies show that 25% of those seeking help for mental illness first turn to a clergyperson. This is higher than the percentage of people who first go to a psychiatrist or medical doctor.*

The Pastoral Care Specialist (PCS) Training Program is a 48-hour course providing the knowledge and skills pastoral caregivers in churches and faith communities need to help others effectively, ethically, and safely. Issues and topics covered include:

  • Ethics of Pastoral Care
  • Marriage and Family Issues in Systemic Perspective
  • Spiritual Assessment and Diagnosis 
  • Listening in the Service of Healing 
  • Grief and Loss
  • Mental Health and the Role of the Faith Community
  • Understanding and Responding Effectively to Domestic Violence 
  • Trauma-Informed Spiritual Care
  • Substance Abuse, Addiction, and the Role of the Faith Community 

The PCS Training program is a new curriculum developed by the ACPE’s Psychotherapy Commission. The standard fee is $600 although individual programs may offer scholarships or payment plans. Several pilot programs will be hosted in 2021.

To receive information about future training opportunities and other developments in the PCS program, please fill out the Pastoral Care and Specialist Training Program Interest Form.

*Health Services Research (2003): ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360908