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Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling

Journal of Pastoral Theology

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Other Professional Pastoral/Spiritual Care Organizations


American Association of Pastoral Counselors

The American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) represents and sets professional standards for over 3,000 Pastoral Counselors and 100 pastoral counseling centers in North America and around the world. AAPC was founded in 1963 as an organization which certifies Pastoral Counselors, accredits pastoral counseling centers, and approves training programs. It is non-sectarian and respects the spiritual commitments and religious traditions of those who seek assistance without imposing counselor beliefs onto the client.

Persons become members of AAPC through a process of consultation and review of academic and clinical education which leads to competent professional ministry. For members, AAPC offers vital continuing education opportunities; encourages networks of members for professional support and enrichment; facilitates growth and innovation in the ministry of pastoral counseling; and provides both specialized in-service training and supervision in pastoral counseling.


Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE) 

ACPE is a professional association committed to advancing experience-based theological education for seminarians, clergy and lay persons of diverse cultures, ethnic groups and faith traditions. We establish standards, certify supervisors and accredit programs and centers in varied settings. ACPE programs promote the integration of personal history, faith tradition and the behavioral sciences in the practice of spiritual care

College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy Inc. (CPSP)

The College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy is a theologically based covenant community, dedicated to "Recovery of Soul." CPSP offers the following:
  • Accredited training and credentialing for Pastoral Psychotherapy. Credential is certification as Diplomate in Pastoral Psychotherapy.
  • Accredited training and credentialing for Pastoral Supervision. Credential is certification as Diplomate in Pastoral Supervision.
  • Accredited training and credentialing for Pastoral Counseling. Credential is certification as Pastoral Counselor or Associate Pastoral Counselor.
  • Accredited training and credentialing for Clinical Chaplaincy. Credential is certification as Board Certified Clinical Chaplain or Board Certified Associate Clinical Chaplain

Association of Professional Chaplains

With commitment to interfaith ministry and the professional practice of chaplaincy care, the Association of Professional Chaplains serves chaplains in all types of health and human service settings. Our more than 4,000 member chaplains and affiliates are involved in chaplaincy care of all persons, respecting their diverse cultures and beliefs. As a national, not-for-profit professional association, APC advocates for quality chaplaincy care of all persons in health care facilities, correctional institutions, long term care units, rehabilitation centers, hospice, the military and other specialized settings.


International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling 

The International Council came into existence in 1979 at the first International Congress of reflective practitioners of Pastoral Care and Counselling held in Edinburgh, Scotland.
There had been gatherings from as early as 1972 of various European and American practitioners but Edinburgh 1979, where over four hundred people from all the continents gathered, was a watershed for Pastoral Care and counselling akin to the ecumenical mission and church meetings of 1910 and 1937.

ICPCC represents a truly international, ecumenical and proactive movement of women and men desiring to respond to current needs and situations faced by real life people in the world through the skills and mediations of pastoral care and counselling.
The Council serves as a 'web-like' network of people to
- help promote the reflective practice of Pastoral Care and Counselling throughout the world
- inform, educate and inspire practitioners of Pastoral Care and Counselling in every place
- enable practitioners to be in touch with each other and to learn from good practice wherever it occurs.
- to oversee the running of "International Congresses" every four years.


Society for Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counseling  

The Society for Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counselling (SIPCC) is a community of counsellors, pastors, supervisors, teachers, scholars, s and other pastoral caregivers committed to enrich the field of pastoral studies and pastoral practices. The purpose of the Society is to equip persons for pastoral care and counselling in the midst of diverse cultural contexts. Coming from a Christian background SIPCC engages in dialogue with other faiths and religions aiming at justice, peace and the integrity of creation. International Seminars on Pastoral Care and Counselling started in 1986, from which roots SIPCC was founded as a registered tax free association in 1995 to provide a forum for the voices of women and men from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds in order to foster intercultural understanding of issues related to contemporary ways of doing pastoral care and counselling in practice and theory. Members come from many different countries, religious backgrounds and cultures. Membership is open to all persons and institutions sharing similar concerns and goals which are mentioned below.

Concerns and Goals

1. We dedicate ourselves to the creation of a mutually respectful and inclusive community in which we engage in conversation and activities which contribute to overcome historical barriers such as religion, race, class, gender and sexual orientation. We strive to overcome discrimination against economically and politically deprived as well as differently abled persons.

2. We dedicate ourselves to offer opportunities for concerned persons, associations and institutions to explore the meaning, purposes and methods of pastoral care and counselling from the perspectives of different cultures, religions and worldviews.

3. We commit ourselves to honor, understand and critically develop traditions of doing pastoral care and pastoral action in the midst of interfaith and ecumenical dialogue. We strive to be open to different practices of care which come from a variety of religious and non-religious traditions.

4. We commit ourselves to work for the development and implementation of liberative and transformative methods of care in ecclesiastical and social structures, public policy and interpersonal relationships.

5. We commit ourselves to create a forum for conversation between theology and other fields of knowledge concerned with critical reflection on the relationship between practice and theory in pastoral care and counselling.

6. We seek to learn from pastoral-theological dialogue and to enhance the practice of ministry in congregations, groups and specialised settings.


1. We conduct an annual international seminar on intercultural pastoral care and counselling for a large audience in various countries and cities. The seminar offers formal presentations, workshops, case studies, small groups, intercultural forums and other opportunities for exchange and dialogue between the participants.  See .

2. We conduct an annual consultation for theory building.

3. We provide written materials through magazines and books to enlighten current understanding, practice and research in pastoral care and counselling. See .

4. We organise special study trips to various countries to experience different cultures, religions and their way of caring for people and learn from them.

Our Structure

The General Assembly meets each year to be informed, to discuss and to decide on the activities, finances, elections and other issues of the Society.

The Executive Committee with seven international members elected by the general assembly co-ordinates the duties and tasks of the Society. The Executive Committee appoints various committees such as the Seminar Planning Committee, which prepares and co-ordinates the annual International Seminars, the International Editorial Committee, which is responsible for publications of the Society, and others as the need arises.

Of particular Interest

During the ICPCC's 7th International Congress in Bangalore, India (2004) the SIPCC launched an electronic book on CD - Workbook on Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counselling - including various technical features to use it for teaching, training and formation.  Its content is posted here - PDF-File . You may use it for educational purposes exclusively - no official reprint and no publishing is permitted.  NOTE: The file is more than 6 MB - be aware of the size !