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. 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.

Intended Course Outcomes through Engagements

Students will show growth in the following ways:

  1. Character Formation: Develop a plan for their own spiritual care and how this relates to family, marriage, and ministry.
  2. Content Processing with Peers: Identify and analyze the stresses within marriage, family, and ministry and how to apply biblical principles to these.
  3. Ministry Capability Development: Determine how to balance the demands of work, ministry, and family and how to model this to others.
  4. Application in Mission and Community: Discover God’s plan for marriage and the family as seen in the Bible and how to apply this to cultures today.


  • Syllabus
  • Asia-Pacific Module Handbook