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pcs-01At some point in each of our lives we need that person who can help us break the silence and share our pain; that person who helps us open the curtain so that even a ray of light can shine into our world and renew our sense of hope. Throughout her life, Pauline Oates has embodied the ideals of the Pastoral Care Specialist Certificate program and therefore, it is natural that this certificate program would be named in her honor. It is not only the religious professional that needs care giving skills, but also the lay person, the deacon, the elder and other congregational leaders.

Clergy, religious professionals, deacons, and other congregational leaders are often the first to be called when individuals and families suffer trauma or experience a crisis. The Pastoral Care Specialist Certificate offered by the Wayne E. Oates Institute provides training in brief and supportive pastoral care and counseling that will strengthen participants' pastoral care skills.

This certificate program is a course of study developed for clergy or laity who are responsible for giving congregational care. Utilizing the Oates Institute's Connected Learning approach to make this certificate program available online, pastoral care givers may earn the certificate from any location as long as they have internet access.

By utilizing the resources of the participant’s personal faith tradition and current theoretical understandings, this program is designed to strengthen the individual’s pastoral identity and to enhance his or her pastoral care skills. The PCS certificate will equip participants to:

  • Listen with understanding,
  • Maintain boundaries,
  • Differentiate the “being” from the “doing” in the role of the pastoral caregiver,
  • Respond appropriately to crisis, and
  • Utilize referral resources.

This certificate also meets the small group consultation requirements to qualify for Pastoral Care Specialist membership in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.