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MNST 511     Pastoral Theology: Theology and Practice of Pastoral Care  (3)

This course examines the distinct vocation and ministry of those called to the ordained priesthood. Drawing on Scripture and the ordinal of The Book of Common Prayer, it looks first at priestly identity and authority in relation to the ministry of all the baptized. After considering what it means to lead a community of faith as "pastor, priest, and teacher," we move to the practice and underlying theology of several aspects of parish ministry. Relevant canons and portions of The Book of Common Prayer are studied. Approaching pastoral care as the "cure of souls," the course focuses on pastoral visitation and counsel; preparing people for the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, and marriage; and ministry to the sick, dying, and bereaved. Throughout the course, attention is given to the way various pastoral situations draw both priest and parish more fully into the mystery of Christ.