2024 Pastoral Counsellors Network
The European Pastoral Counsellors Network is for leaders involved in pastoral care or personal discipleship ministries. The Network will focus on common pastoral issues with the aim of building basic counselling skills grounded in a biblical understanding of, and approach to, the human heart. This year’s programme focuses on the character and spiritual life of the counsellor, understanding how to truly care for those who experience evil and suffering, discipling the whole person, the power of the relationship in counselling, and other topics relevant to those involved in pastoral care and discipleship.
What Network Participants Are Saying
- "Being in the Forum’s Pastoral Counsellors Network has been an incredible experience. It has been so helpful because I spend my time working with elders, people in the hospital, and also discipling young people. I have been blessed by the many brothers and sisters I have met, by connecting with them, hearing their stories, and receiving their advice."
- Emanuela Marinkovic, Medical Student, Bosnia and Herzegovina
- "I came to the European Leadership Forum to learn more about how to help people in need of counselling. We went through a difficult situation in my church that involved spiritual abuse. The Forum has helped me to understand how to relate to people in a deeper way, especially those who need spiritual and emotional healing, and how to point them to Christ the Healer."
- Samuel Carp, Youth Leader, Romania
Applicants should be leaders involved in pastoral care or personal discipleship ministries. The Network will focus on common pastoral issues, with the aim of building basic pastoral skills grounded in a biblical understanding and approach to the human heart.
2023 Network Programme
Detailed information about this Network's 2024 sessions is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from last year for a look at the high quality of instructors, teaching, and content available in this network:
Paul speaks of the body as a living sacrifice that is “holy” (Romans 12:1). Yet, the Imago Dei has often been conceptualized in terms that marginalize the body, potentially limiting our earthly experience of union with Christ. In this session, we will discuss some historical and philosophical issues that may prevent us from taking Paul’s logic to heart. How does understanding this shape how we love and counsel others?
As He moved among the broken in His time on our planet, the Creator quoted from an unexpected source. Christ referred to the Psalms more than any part of our sacred text. But when we need help in our living, we rarely knock on a poet’s door; our bookshelves favour method over musing, movement over reflection, yet in the Psalms, we find beauty that brings our souls from weary valleys to hilltop praise. In this session, we consider a unique engagement with the artistry and genius of Christ’s favoured writings.
God personally formed each one of us. With intricate details, He “breathed” us into existence. We are His one-of-a-kind masterpiece. As we live in the world at the pace we set for ourselves, we not only don’t see our bodies as temples, we ignore them altogether sometimes. Very often this powerful picture is lost by our self-centred desires, by unmet needs, compelled by illusions about who we are and what makes us acceptable or important. In this session, we will be reminded of what is the path to healing and restoration that we desperately need. How can we help others to be “searched and known” by a gracious God, and moved toward holiness that gives God honor and fills their hearts with worship?
Clinical Counselors have their hands full these days providing care for the situationally discouraged and depressed - the world seems to be full of them. Pastoral Counselors are sometimes called upon to provide solutions to specific or situational needs, but many times the sadness is longer-term and defies even our best "solutions." As we work with chronically discouraged and depressed people, Pastoral Counselors certainly need to be helpful counsellors, but also faithful friends to those with longer-term grief, pain, or other suffering. This session will provide a helpful paradigm on how to understand, seek to help, and be a faithful witness to truth while waiting for God to provide the help that only comes from Him.
Ministry roles are often viewed as "silos" -- areas that are loosely related but rarely connected. This is especially unfortunate when it comes to Pastoral Counseling and our Discipleship ministries. Biblically understood, these two ministry categories have far more in common than they have differences. How would "Counseling" be different if we viewed it through a "Discipleship lens" and how would "Discipleship" benefit if we included a "Counseling" framework? This session will help us think biblically about how these two often-separated ministries should become friends!
If the body of a Christian is a temple of Christ, then churches that build temples are those that help believers hear and follow the One who indwells them. I suggest a model for cooperation between pastors, pastoral counselors, professional counselors, and gifted lay ministers—all with the goal of creating a culture of Christ-centered healing.