Pastoral care and chaplaincy are two disciplines that have been gaining attention in recent decades. Chaplains are found in hospitals, hospices, colleges, and military units. Their work is sometimes overlooked, but many people in time of crisis have been comforted by chaplains around the world. The same could be said for pastors, who are always there for others.
Literature on chaplaincy is not abundant, though it is easier to find a book on chaplaincy today than it was a decade ago. Pastoral care books are also gaining interest as pastoral care has become a professionalized discipline in some circles. Fortunately, Skylight Paths has combined both disciplines in a single volume and the result is a superb book.
The book Professional Spiritual & Pastoral Care: A Practical Clergy and Chaplain’s Handbook, by Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts (ed.) is a book that covers practical issues and for both pastors and chaplains. With the contribution of experts and experienced professionals in the field, this book offers insightful perspective about daily issues pastors and chaplains face every day.
The book is divided in four parts, presented as follows:
Part I Theology of Spiritual / Pastoral Care
Part II The Process of Spiritual / Pastoral Care
Part III Spiritual / Pastoral Care With Special Populations
Part IV The Infrastructure of Spiritual / Pastoral Care
Chapters (33 in total) are essays addressing pertinent topics to pastoral care and chaplaincy. Foundational Listening and Responding Skills, Counseling and Interventions, Life Review, Gender Issues in Pastoral Care, are some of the topics presented in this book.
The focus of this book is not theory but practice. Every chapter is a challenge for pastors and chaplains to grow in their ministries and work. The experience of contributors as practitioners is an extra in this book. It is comforting reading a book that covers a practical themes when you know writers have been working in that area of expertise for many years, in addition to the theory and knowledge the also show in every chapter.
My final word on this book is that this book is a mine for those ministering in pastoral care or chaplaincy settings. I highly recommend this book to every pastor and chaplains no matter the discipline you are at.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.