Pastoral theology examines the relationship between the doctrine of the Church and its practice, especially in the context of the local Church and parish. The course looks at pastoral theology and praxis as it developed from Vatican II, with a special focus on the role of pastoral ministers in pastoral care.
The documents of Vatican II, Papal Encyclicals, and contemporary writings form the foundation of the course. The main texts will be Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes, with supplementary material drawn from A Roman Catholic Theology of Pastoral Care by Regis A Duffy, OFM, (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publishing) and Ethics in Pastoral Ministry by Richard Gula, S.S., (New York: Paulist Press). Attention will be given to the pastoral thought of Pope Francis.