Short Course in Pastoral Care

Necessary skills for volunteer and paid work in pastoral care

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Short Course in Pastoral Care

St Mark’s Short Course in Pastoral Care aims to provide people with the skills and knowledge they need to begin undertaking volunteer or paid work in pastoral care. It is designed for people with or without experience in pastoral and spiritual care who are seeking to offer such care in contexts such as hospitals, aged-care facilities, churches, community centres, and other social services settings.

This course provides a balance between practical pastoral skills, reflective practice, and principles of ethical caregiving. It is designed seeking to offer pastoral care in contexts such as hospitals, churches, and healthcare facilities. 

It is also a pathway into other pastoral courses at St Mark’s and covers key components of the nationally recognised VET qualifications.

This course focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to safely and ethically provide pastoral care in different contexts, and the interpersonal and self-reflection skills required to do so. The course involves direct training in the practical skills of providing pastoral and spiritual care, as well as participation in ‘verbatim reflections’, extensive self-reflection, and activities done in the context of work placement.

The course covers the following four nationally recognised VET Units of Competency:

  • CHCPAS001 Prepare for the provision of pastoral and spiritual care
  • CHCPAS002 Provide pastoral and spiritual care
  • CHCLEG001 Work legally and ethically
  • CHCPRP003 Reflect on and improve own professional practice

Those who successfully complete the course and all assessment tasks will be eligible for a statement of attainment for these units of competency.


Assessment for this course includes a range of practical and written tasks. It involves simulated practice of difficult interpersonal interactions and receiving critical feedback from supervisors and peers. It also includes logs of time spent in self-reflection. Students must also provide third-party verification of workplace activity and other details of the course.

The course is taught through two, 2-day intensives (4 days total), plus at least three meetings with an appropriate supervisor, accompanying online work and assessment tasks.

The course normally takes at least 3 months to complete all components.

The course is taught through two 2-day intensives (4 days total), plus at least three meetings with an appropriate supervisor, accompanying online work and assessment tasks.

Canberra Campus

15 Blackall Street, BARTON  ACT 2600


Dates for 2021 are to be confirmed.

The cost of the course is $1200. This does not include the costs of arranging supervision, which vary.

Candidates must be able to

  • communicate well, both verbally and in writing, in English;
  • provide a letter from an appropriate person (e.g. supervisor, chaplain, minister of religion) stating that they are an appropriate person to pursue training in pastoral care, and confirming that they will have the opportunity to use the skills they are learning in a work or community context. (One of the assessment requirements of this course is that candidates have 100 hours of time spent in a relevant work context, so we need to know that this will be possible.)
  • arrange, and if needs be, pay for supervision, in consultation with St Mark’s trainers;
  • undertake self-reflection activities and receive constructively critical feedback.

The four units of competency that comprise the Short Course are all core units of competency in the nationally recognised qualification, CHC42315 Certificate IV in chaplaincy and pastoral care.

Three of the units of competency can also be applied towards St Mark’s Diploma of Chaplaincy (10635NAT).

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