Home » Welcome » Regional Course of Study » Courses » 12 PL202 Pastoral Life

12 PL202 Pastoral Life

Course Description

This course discusses the life of pastors, with their family, spouse, and their internal personal life.

Understanding Marriage in the Asia-Pacific Region – A study of the nature of marriage and family, its forms, cultural and religious practices, its functions, etc., in the country where the student lives. The course will cover the biblical principles concerning God’s design for marriage and family; the basic needs, roles, duties of husband and wife; the place, value, discipline and instruction of children; the spiritual growth and witness of the family to Church and society. The cultural expectations will be compared and contrasted with the Biblical expectations.

Family Care– Students will study principles for maintaining strong healthy relationships with their spouse (if married) and developing healthy relations within the home and family. Student will learn how to help their spouses (or potential spouses) to implement principles, practices and methods to help families with spiritual, personal, physical, psychological and emotional problems. Emphasis will be placed on methods of healing, sustaining, guiding and reconciling those who are hurt in both local church and community. Attention will be given to single ministers and how they remain healthy and balanced as an individual.

Balance – Students will study how pastors deal with bi-vocational issues, relationships / friendships within the local church, time management issues, the pastor in community, the balance between building relationships with the congregation and retaining enough personal privacy to maintain family life. Potential issues to address include: having a spouse on a board or in a ministry position, handling funds with integrity, the pastor who runs a business, how to deal with the ethics and appearances, relating to government positions / public servants / politics and political opinions.

Learning will center on activities and requirements with the goal of modeling healthy Christian family relationships to the church and the community.

Course Rational

In some areas of Asia-Pacific, teaching pastoral counseling is not permitted unless taught by a licensed professional with a PhD. At the same time, family issues are a constant area of counseling by a pastor. This course attempts to meet the needs of a pastor for counseling resources by focusing on the person and family of pastors and dealing with life issues they will normally deal with. In this way, the essence and tools of good pastoral counseling can be given to the student without the label of “counseling” being attached to it. At the same time, the pastor’s own life skills will be improved giving him or her a better chance at long term success and reducing the stress of pastoral life.

Program Outcomes


CP-7 Ability to offer biblical counsel and refer as needed and to equip others to do the same.

CP-11 Ability to teach and model a Christian understanding of marriage and provide counsel for other practices of marriage that are divergent from the New Testament teaching.


CH-1 Ability to find, understand and utilize resources for one’s own spiritual growth in prayer, Bible study, and personal devotion with the goal of becoming like Christ. CH-1

CH-3 Ability to practice personal Christian ethics in faithful stewardship, in personal relationships, and in finances.

CH-4 Ability to teach and model sexual purity.

CH-5 Ability to demonstrate Christian ethics consistently with integrity in public, decision making, and conducting oneself in today’s world.

CH-8 Ability to express humility, openness, righteousness, and honesty in all of one’s personal relationships.


CX-1 Ability to identify and describe the events, personalities, social structures, and history that help shape the context in which we minister.

Activity Outcomes


ACC-1 Demonstrate a Christ-like character of submission, integrity and love in all relationships.

ACC-2 Explain and demonstrate how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, and financial integrity toward God, church leaders, within marriage, and in other relationships.

ACC-3 Explain how the Biblical relationship of love between Christ and the Father should be reflected in the relationship of a husband and wife.

ACC-7 Explain how the difference between Biblical understanding of forgiveness, restitution, and trust compare and contrast with local cultural understandings and the impact on the accountability relationship.

Counsel – Listen

CON-1 Demonstrate the character qualities of Christ essential in creating an effective counseling relationship built on biblical foundations.

CON-2 Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to the wide range of communication methods characteristic of effective Christian counseling techniques, e.g. reflective listening and questions, mirroring, emotional awareness, transformative grace, and appropriate confrontation. Pastors need to be able to give clear expression to their own emotional struggle in the midst of difficult situations.

CON-3 Demonstrate the ability to identify and equip church members who are gifted in the area of Biblical counseling and delegate counseling cases to them.

CON-4 Demonstrate the ability to provide pre-marital and marital counseling.

CON-5 The pastor should be able to understand the biblical foundation of counseling and to explain the importance of knowing how to counsel people using the resources of the body of Christ.

CON-6 Identify and use concepts from the Bible that can apply to counseling situations in the local church.


DIS-4 To use the reading of God’s Word to foster one’s spiritual growth for personal devotions.

DIS-15 Recognize the importance of discipling children and youth and develop a plan for this in the local church.

Discipline Personal and Family

DPF-1 Demonstrate Christlikeness by developing an activity that prioritizes discipling the whole family. If married, have family devotions and plan for their family to be involved in ministry activities. Develop and demonstrate an effective system for personal spiritual development, holistic personal care, and articulate the importance of accountability for these.

DPF-2 Develop personal, financial priorities with a mentor. Develop a plan with a mentor that balances family and ministry expectations.

DPF-3 Explain how local family expectations impacts or shapes ministry in their culture, how their words and actions impact another person’s feelings of self-worth, and demonstrate a practical application that shows the Biblical understanding of the importance of the spouse and family.


PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.

Content 12%
Competency 28%
Character 45%
Context 15%

Course Textbooks

Frisbie, David and Lisa. Managing Stress in Ministry. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2014.

Parrott, Les. Keeping Love in the Family: How to Achieve Better Family Relationships. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1987.

Pettitt, Jim, Roger Hahn, Larry Morris, David And Lisa Frisbie, Donald Harvey, Jan M Harvey, Roy Rotz, Victor M Parachin, Jeanette Downs Pettitt. Making A Marriage: 7 Essentials for a Strong Relationship. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2007.

Turnbill, Bob and Yvonne. Teammates: Building Your Marriage to Complete, Not Compete. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2005.

Williams, Gene, and Donald Harvey. Living in a Glass House: Surviving the Scrutiny of Ministry and Marriage. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2002.

Course Requirements

  1. The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
  2. Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read 2 Chronicles 21 – Nehemiah 13 and Acts 21 – 28. The focus of the Scripture reading and prayer time for this course is on our accountability before God. As students read and pray, they should consider this question: “What is God asking me to change in my life in order to be more like His image as revealed in Jesus Christ?” Because this question may lead to personal or embarrassing information, students may be more general in the reflections they write in their journal so as not to reveal something to teachers that is meant only for God. Students may also meet with a mentor to discuss their response to the question. Students may also write out a prayer of confession as part of their reflections. Reflections should be at least one paragraph of 200 words.

(Outcomes CH-1, CH-8, ACC-1, ACC-7, DIS-4, DPF-1, PRA-1)

  1. Small Group Reporting: At the close of each lesson, small groups will discuss questions relevant to the topic addressed (strong families, biblical perspectives on marriage, family, raising children, principles of biblical counseling). Students will take turns leading the small group discussions. Each student will be given opportunity to report back in rotation to the larger group the findings of his or her small group.

(Outcomes CP-7, CP-11, CON-1, CON-3, CON-4, DIS-15)

  1. Family Life in the Bible: In a 1000 word spoken or written presentation, describe the expectations for a husband and wife in the following passages. Genesis 12 to 22, Abram and Sari; Genesis 29 – 32 Jacob, Leah and Rachel; Hosea 1-3; Malachi 2:13-17, Ephesians 5, 1 Peter 3. Compare or contrast at least three examples of family in the Bible and one from church history to the principles you found in the above passages. Identify at least five principles found in your study that lead to a strong family. End your study with making application to your local context, identifying any cultural challenges facing strong marriages in your community.

(Objectives CH-5, ACC-3, ACC-7, CON-1, CON-3, DPF-2)

  1. Family Interview: Interview a Christian (if possible) couple who has been married more than 20 years to discover what they believe is the reason for their long-lasting marriage and report the findings to the class (and/or a 2 page paper).

(Outcomes CP-11, CH-5, CX-1, ACC-2, DPF-3)

  1. Pastor Interview: Interview a pastor about the challenges in ministry, the impact ministry has on family, and how to maintain a balanced life. Write a 2 page reflection paper on this interview, identifying potential conflicts between needs and ministry demands and how to bring balance family and ministry expectations.

(Outcomes CX-1, CH-1, DPF-1, DPF-2)

  1. Budget: Develop an annual family budget for your family (or a personal budget if you are single). The budget should be realistic according to your present or future ministry context, considering your income and actual expenses. Include all types of income and expense including things traded (farm products, handmade items, trades, etc.) and cash. Identify your debts and how you will pay for those. Include your giving to others. The goal is to learn good stewardship and financial matters.

(Objectives CH-3, DPF-2)

  1. Final Exam. The exam will be on the principals of Biblical Counseling. Oral demonstrations can be part of this exam.

(Objectives CP-7, CON-1, CON-2, CON-3, CON-4, CON-5, CON-6)

Course Assessment

Bible Reading and Prayer Journal     10 %

Small Group Report                            10 %

Family Life in the Bible                        20 %

Family Interview                                  15 %

Pastor Interview                                  15 %

Budget                                                 10 %

Final Exam                                          20 %

Grading Policy

A         90-100%

B         80-89%

C         70-79%

D         60-69%

45-59%           (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)

If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to Biblical Counseling
  2. Pastoral Counseling through the Ages
  3. Modern Methodologies
  4. Biblical Patterns for Family
  5. Modern Challenges to Family in Context
  6. Personal Finances and Budgeting
  7. Maintaining Balance in the Pastoral Ministry
  8. Personal Soul Care
Translate »