Houston Graduate School of Theology

Pastoral Care

DMin Pastoral Care Specialization


Directed by Jerry Terrill, DSM, MDiv, MA, LPC-S, LMFT-S

The Doctor of Ministry degree with a specialization in Pastoral Care gives the student an opportunity to be grounded in the practical theology of caregiving. A specialization in Pastoral Care allows the pastor and shepherd to engage in the care of souls who are hurting and in pain. The shepherd/pastor is able to listen clearly with empathy to the presenting problems. Through training and discernment, with insight and wisdom from the Holy Spirit, he or she will be equipped to provide comfort and hope in the parishioner’s time of brokenness.

Pastoral care enables the caregiver to create a solution-focused restoration enabling the individual, couple, or family to utilize God’s grace. As a result, harmony is manifested within the individual’s self, family, and neighbors, and is evident in a closer relationship in God.

jterrill@hgst.edu  713-942-9505 x218

713-942-9505 x218

The heart of the Pastoral Care program is to provide a theoretical knowledge of theology, theories, techniques, and scriptural references to formulate a new narrative, a new story, and a new life. Pastoral care, given by a pastor or chaplain, becomes the beginning of a new journey of faith for the parishioner or patient. Hope is shared and instilled through encouragement, support, and movement toward completeness and wholeness. This allows the parishioner or patient to self-actualize and individuate in modern society (Romans 12:1; John 10:10).

Pastoral care allows the shepherd/pastor or chaplain to care for the ninety-nine while seeking to minster to the one lost sheep (Luke 15:3–7) while guiding each safely through the wilderness (Psalm 78:52).

In 1 Peter 5:2-3, the Apostle Peter instructs, "Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."

Five areas of study:

Theories of Pastoral Care and Counseling
Crises Intervention and Grief/Bereavement
Mediation/Abusive Relationships
Marriage, Couples, and Family Theory
Intake/Assessment, Substance Abuse