Script: The Basics of Psychology for Christian Ministry
Homework Assignments

Psychology Syllabus v2.1




Course no.:PSY4D0003 
Course Name:

Psychology- Various fields of psychology, mental illness

SWS / Credits:2
Creator:Thomas Haase



Course Description

Pastoral care is one of the core pastoral tasks. The skills required for this are taught in separate courses as well as in practical training. Nevertheless, this also requires a certain basic knowledge of modern psychology in its various facets. This course is intended to provide an overview of psychological basics, both as a support and in distinction to classical pastoral care.


Course Objectives

Students will know the various areas of human psychology, the origins and development of psychology itself, and be able to apply them to their ministry as pastors.

In detail:

  • Understand the basics and methods of modern psychology
  • recognize the interaction as well as the differences between psychotherapy and pastoral care
  • Be familiarized with different mental health conditions


Acquired Skills

  • What is psychology?
  • What are the common psychotherapies? How do I evaluate them? How do I evaluate them based on the Bible? Does the Bible have a psychotherapy model?
  • What are the criticisms of psychology and psychotherapy?
  • When do I send someone to psychotherapy? How do I find the right therapist?
  • Info (statistics), origins and dealing with the most common mental health difficulties I am most likely to face as a pastor: suicidal thoughts/attempt, grief care, eating disorders, pornography addiction, internet addiction, drug addiction, depression, panic attacks, ect.
  • Non-pathological psychology: 
  • Developmental Psychology


Preparatory or Course-Related Assignments for Students (20 hours).

Reading of the compulsory literature


Content of the Course (20 hours)

  • Overview of different psychological schools
  • Psychology and spirituality
  • Psychological clinical pictures
  • Differences psychotherapy and pastoral care


Performance Record (10 hours)

Multiple choice exam


Compulsory Reading (20 hours)

The Human Face of Church: A Social Psychology and Pastoral Theology Resource for Pioneer and Traditional Ministry Paperback – Illustrated, October 31, 2007

by Sara Savage, Eolene Boyd-Macmillan


Further Reading

  • Myers, David G., Psychology, 10th Edition. (or newer)
  • Bonelli Raphael, Faith on the Couch. Plädoyer für ein friedliches Miteinander von Psychotherapie und Religion, Aachen: Patrimonium, 2014.
  • Frankl, Viktor, The Unconscious God. Psychotherapy and Religion, Munich: dtv, 1992.
  • Franz, Marina. Soterio-Seel. Salutogenic pastoral care in theory and practice, BOD, 2017.
  • Lieb, Klaus/Frauenknecht, Sabine, Intensive Course in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Munich: Elsevier, 82015
  • Müsseler, Jochen/Rieger, Martina (eds.), Allgemeine Psychologie, Heidelberg: Springer, 32016.
  • Ruthe, Reinhold, Hochsensibel und trotzdem stark. Hilfen für Feinfühlige, Moers: Brendow, 2015.
  • Utsch, Michael/Bonelli, Raphael/Pfeifer, Samuel, Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Dealing Professionally with Existential Conflicts and Questions of Transcendence, Heidelberg: Springer, 2014.


Composition of the Final Grade

Class participation (30%)

Reading assignments (30%)

Written exam (40%)


Summary Time Statement

20 hLessons
10 hHomework – assigned by the professor
10 hExamination and its preparation
20 hRequired reading 
60 hTotal