Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Required Reading

Pastoral Counseling:

1. Pages ix-45
2. Pages 46-104
3. Pages 105-154 (by July 24th)
4. Pages 155-207

We are developing a system of accountability with your required reading. The purpose of this exercise is to weight the grading less heavily on final exams and papers, allowing you to get a better grade. This will also ensure that our quality of education is up to standard and that each student is learning as much as they can on the given course subject matter.

To that end, we have broken down reading assignments into smaller sizes. We expect that students will do the assigned reading, and then send in questions and answers about the reading. These questions/answers should help other students learn from the reading assignment. For each assigned reading, you are required to post 3 different questions/answers. Do not use true/false questions. Think of this assignment as constructing a quiz for future students. You are going to help those students
who will be behind you get tested on their reading assignments. The reading assignments are in a new “Reading Assignment” tab, located in your THS course dashboard. After you have done the reading, compose your questions/answers and post them to the correct discussion group.

There will be two considerations for receiving a grade. First, is the question/answer clearly communicated? Second, does the question/answer reflect the reading material well? For your first assignment, Prof. Inga Haase has assigned “Strategies for Brief Pastoral Counseling” by Howard Stone, preface- pg. 45.

Here are some examples of a good post, and some examples of a bad post, based on that reading:


1. Question: Brief pastoral counseling is:

A. Keeping counseling sessions under 30 minutes.
B. Limiting counseling sessions to a few sessions, which focus on concrete solutions.
C. Trying to address childhood issues that are creating problems in life.
D. A strategy for building a counseling business outside of the pastoral calling.

Answer: B. Page 17, “Since pastoral caregivers can expect to spend only a few sessions in a typical
pastoral counseling relationship, they need to structure the care they offer around those few sessions
rather than on some unlimited ideal… At each meeting, every effort should be made to provide
parishioners with what they require to begin resolving their distress.”


2. Question: For brief pastoral counseling to be effective, the counselor must:
A. Work hard to penetrate the layers of the psyche which make up the counselee.
B. Take every problem in the counselee’s life and bundle them together, getting the most out of each

C. Reflecting ‘what is said’ back to the counselee in positive language, and helping them feel light and
D. Embrace a ‘not-knowing’ therapeutic approach, using their position of authority to collaborate with
the counselee to find practical answers.

Answer: D. Page 42, “Congregational ministers offering brief pastoral counseling collaborate with
parishioners’ understanding of their problems and goals for the future, invite change, and open space
for new meanings and more faithful action The not-knowing therapeutic approach toward parishioners
expertise in their own experience and goals, an essential element of brief pastoral counseling, is
balanced with appropriate knowledge and the claiming of faith perspectives.”

3. Question: Brief pastoral counseling should use:

A. The successes and strengths of the counselee, and encourage them to exercise those strengths to
solve their problems.
B. Puppets, songs, and other child-focused methods to determine what went wrong in the counselee’s
C. The expertise of the counselor to determine what is wrong, and how the counselee ought to fix it.
D. A congregational sub-committee to advise all counselees of what their future should be.

Answer: A. Page 27, “In these and many other ways, pastoral caregivers value parishioners by facilitating
the recognition of their abilities and courageous behaviors and guiding them to exercise those strengths.
When pastoral caregivers use brief counseling methods to convey that parishioners do have the
resources necessary to deal with their problems, those individuals often come to prize themselves and
even to look creatively at their problems and possibilities.”


1.Question: Pastors should always use the counseling type preferred by the book and also:

A. Using homework and personality
B. Because we aren’t really psychologists
C. Other ways are there, but the best way is what they say
D. People are experts in their own problems

Answer: B. Page 17, “Brief pastoral counseling is more closely related to the parish ministry model than
it is to long-term psychotherapy.”’

This question is unclear. The answers are unclear. This question would not help another student to better
understand the assigned reading. Now, using the same quote and page, let’s try something with more

Question: Pastors should use brief counseling because:
A. Brief counseling steers away from needing an advanced degree in psychotherapy.
B. Brief counseling has been long accepted as true pastoral ministry.
C. Brief counseling teaches people to handle problems on their own, rather than relying on an expert.
D. All of the above.

Answer: D. Page 17, “Brief pastoral counseling is more closely related to the parish ministry model than
it is to long-term psychotherapy. Parishioners come to the pastoral caregiver for short periods of
counseling whenever they face a crisis or difficulty that they have trouble managing on their own.”

See the difference?

2.Question: Focusing on the future is important because:

A. It makes people learn.
B. It works.
C. It keeps people from wasting my time.
D. It empowers people to change themselves.
Answer: B. Page 9, “I contend that focusing continually on the misery of the past has no ethical,
theological, or practical justification; it even can perpetuate the misery.”

This question is too broad to be helpful to a future student. Of course, homework works. That isn’t the
argument the reading makes. While this question is “right,” it isn’t helpful. Each one of the answers given
is true in their way. If this were a quiz, it wouldn’t help future students to understand the reading
assignment better. So, let’s try this one again too.

Question: In brief pastoral counseling, focusing on the future is important because:
A. Future-oriented counseling uses the past, without focusing on mistakes and misery.
B. Future-oriented counseling makes people angry at themselves when they do wrong.
C. Future-oriented counseling condemns the past and makes people ashamed of what they’ve done.
D. Future-oriented counseling tears down the successes of the past, helping people stay humble.

Answer: A. Page 9, “I contend that focusing continually on the misery of the past has no ethical,
theological, or practical justification; it even can perpetuate the misery. Reframing the past in positive
terms and building on its successes (however small) is the proper use of yesterday as we enable
suffering people to move into a hope-filled tomorrow.”


I fixed this question by ensuring one question was right, and the others were wrong. I looked for more
than just a sentence from the book. This helps future students actually know what the reading is trying to
communicate. Don’t use “which answer is best” kind of questions, use the right answers and wrong answers,
without being too obvious about which answers are wrong. A future student should have to read the
material to know the answer.