Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Charity Williams


Pastoral counseling, Educating the congregation


Counseling | Religion


This thesis project is to educate the church staff, church members, and local surrounding community on the pastoral counseling practices of Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (GSUMC) and a licensed professional counseling center located on the church premises. The purpose is to ensure that those who attend the church, whether on a weekly basis or less frequently, are aware of the counseling services that are offered. Chapter one introduces the church’s ministry context, the thesis statement, purpose statement, and any limitations to the research. A literature review in chapter two discusses the challenges and difficulties for individuals seeking counseling as well as the challenges of the counselors who seek to deliver that counseling. Action Research is the methodology used in this research project due to its ease of use when applied to the social aspect that must be considered. Chapter three outlines the plan of action that was continually modified in response to the ongoing challenges of the COVID 19 Pandemic. Chapter four contains graphs and charts that explores an in-depth analysis of the responses to an online questionnaire completed by fifty-two members of the congregation. The conclusion further examines the results, educates the congregation on the findings, and points the way forward for the suggested scenario of “what is best next.” Educating everyone on the counseling services offered is crucial to ensure that both organization’s counseling services are utilized to their fullest potential. This will ensure quality consultation to those who suffer from excessive stress or other issues that may occur.