Develop Skills in Pastoral Care - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Develop Skills in Pastoral Care

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The Interfaith Doctor of Ministry Program for Education in Pastoral Care

The Interfaith Doctor of Ministry degree for Pastoral Care provides a unique opportunity to clergy and, in some cases, non-clergy of all faith groups to understand and respond to the variety of clinical problems encountered in ministry. Students who work in congregational, chaplaincy, counseling or community settings are offered coursework and clinical supervision with attention to the specific context of the pastoral relationship.

Learning Goals: Students who enroll in the D.Min. program will study and have the opportunity to build:

  • Clarity around pastoral care that is congruent with the particular ministry in which the student is engaged
  • Skills in recognizing a spectrum of clinically significant symptoms
  • Acuity about when and how to make referrals
  • Basic knowledge of group dynamics
  • Basic knowledge of psychodynamic theory as it applies to individuals and families
  • Greater self-knowledge toward deeping one's sense of authenticity and authority in the pastoral role
  • Increased ability to view self and other as containing multiple dimensions of conscious and unconscious experience
  • Confidence in navigating the interface between psychology and religion

Program Structure: The program is conducted on Mondays, 9 am to 5:30 pm, for four semesters at the New York campus, four Mondays in June, and three 2-day seminars scheduled throughout the year. In addition to the didactic, practical, supervisory, and integrative courses, a professional development group experience provides students with a supportive venue to explore and process the impact of their learning on their identity and practice in ministry.

Demonstration Project: An additional year is required to complete the doctoral Demonstration Project and thesis. During the fall of the second year, students develop a proposal for a Demonstration Project in consultation with their research faculty mentor. This Demonstration Project is one in which the critical, integrative method of course work is brought to bear on an actual challenge or need in the student's ministry setting.

Faculty: All faculty in the HUC-JIR program are conversant with theological and clinical training and most have practiced in one or both fields for more than 25 years. The faculty embodies, individually and as a group, the knowledge and skill set to which the program teaches.

Basic Requirements: Master of Divinity or Master's in related field; ordination, or, if non-ordained, institutional endorsement; and at least five years of experience post-Masters. 

Apply: Fill out our online application for further details and requirements for admission.

For more information:  Please contact Jennifer Harper at

"Simply liberating! The program opened for me new vistas for my work with my community and encouraged my personal growth through reflection, introspection and renewed awareness of the interwoven nature of theology and psychology."