Grant to Fund Study of Pastoral Counseling
The University of Illinois at Chicago has a received a three-year, $85,000 grant from the John Templeton Foundation to study pastoral counseling.
Researchers aim to understand counseling as pastors view it — the pastors’ perceived strengths, their struggles, and the training, if any, they feel they would need to be more effective counselors, says principal investigator Jennifer Shepard Payne, assistant professor in UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work.
Payne says the plan is to interview 40 pastors from churches in two urban areas and identify “the universal nature of their lived experience of counseling in the pastoral context.”
The grant will also fund a project to explore the decision-making process that pastors go through when counseling, and how the experience relates to their views of purpose and religious vocation.
Payne said the study should facilitate an understanding of the counseling care that clergy provide and may serve as a springboard to the design of effective training programs based on pastors’ expressed needs.
Plans are to publish at least two research papers and create a website for clergy.
UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work educates professional social workers, advances knowledge in the field of social work, and provides leadership in policy and service on behalf of the poor, the oppressed, racial and ethnic minorities, and other at-risk urban populations.