The APCC is an externally accredited course which seeks to refine and deepen pastoral practice and knowledge for people who are professionally working in pastoral care (primarily Chaplains and ministers). It is a course which is a necessary pre-requisite for working in public institution chaplaincy in NSW.
To be considered for the course you will need to currently be working in Full Time Ministry as Chaplain or a minister.
The course is run over 18 weeks**- one day per week, from 10:00am to 4:00pm.
The course is based on the following criteria from the CCAC (Civil Chaplains Advisory Committee), which is the accrediting body for the course.
- A model of ‘Action / Reflection’;
- A definition of pastoral care / spirituality. Students must be able to demonstrate how they would promote spiritual wellbeing and continuity of care;
- Students must be able to demonstrate skills in evaluating and responding to an individual’s spiritual care needs;
- An understanding of and empathy for working in a multi-disciplinary team as well as a multi-cultural / multi-faith community and demonstrate an understanding of appropriate referrals;
- Understand grief and loss;
- Be able to engage in theological or spiritual reflection;
- Develop appropriate personal boundaries;
- Understand and show commitment to the importance of confidentiality / privacy;
- Understand and show commitment to the value of engagement in regular pastoral supervision and of accepting personal responsibility for self-care;
- Students are engaged in supervised clinical placement - which means they are working as ministers in ministry settings or chaplains.
- There are pre-reading/pre-viewing needs to be done when programmed in the course.
Journal records are required throughout the course (e.g Kolb model)
For the opening weeks, it would be helpful if the following books are read: LAMENT FOR A SON by Nicholas Wolterstorff, the Book of Job, and the Book of Psalms.
- Attendance for all sessions is required (maximum of 2 days missed classes, if unavoidable);
- The goal is to improve your pastoral practice by education and reflection on practice;
- Records of pastoral encounters and conversations are used as a helpful springboard for learning, but the emphasis is not on the length of the written form, nor its competence, but it’s learning potential. You will be encouraged to reflect on your pastoral encounters and to bring your reflections to the group. These reflections are not verbatims, rather than are conscious reflections on encounters. The focus is on conundrum, challenge, failure and then the creative and rigorous reflection by a group.
- The importance of maintaining confidentiality in the group and of those you minister to in your ministry space.
- Please advise the lecturer for late attendance or absences.
We want the APCC to be:
- a space conducive to learning,
- a space for creativity and imagination,
- and a space for integrative learning.
**The course runs for 18 weeks. 16 weeks face-to-face and 2 weeks where you research a topic of your choice, and then present your reflection to the course participants.
Research weeks: No meeting is required but you are expected to read/research a topic for the two days -12 hours- and then present your reflections to the group.
The heart of the course is reflective practice. We spend time each week reflecting on a pastoral encounter/relationship that one of the participants brings to the table. We then pursue our reflection by looking at the encounter from different perspectives and considering different reflective tools and models. The afternoon is then given to a range of subjects:
- Theological Reflection
- Models from psychology and sociology for understanding situations and relationships.
- Listening skills
- Communication skills
- Multi-cultural ministry (focussing on sub cultural groupings)
- Reflective Practices- approaches and techniques
- Spirituality/Pastoral Care
- Some historical models of pastoral care.
- Positioning Theory
- The Books of Job; Psalms and John