Pastoral Theology

At the beginning of this new term I wanted to take the time and introduce each one of my new classes (Christology will not be dog-eared because all the required reading is from traditional confessions) with a quick snippet out of a required reading. For Pastoral Theology this work is Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry by Thomas C. Oden of Drew University. This work (the first 20 pages I have read) has been a treat to read. Though without further ado here is some text to chew on…

In recent decades, pastoral theology has suffered from neglect of sustained theoretical reflection and from isolation from companion theological disciplines. (pg. xi)

…[Pastoral Counselors] continue to appeal to the office of pastor for their professional identity and fees, yet without a well-defined conception of pastoral office; some may trade off the exceptional trust that people have in the office of pastor, yet with minimal interest in the ministry of Word and sacrament. Others, who in concentrating on developing special skills to serve human need have moved narrowly into special ministries, now may find themselves carrying out these duties with an uneasy conscience or unentered spirit. I hope this study will serve them in their developing attempts at centering and in recovery of pastoral identity.(pg. xi)