Spiritual Care & Counseling Concentration
The Spiritual Care & Counseling Concentration within the Psychology and Counseling program at Goddard College provides a rigorous and inclusive program, allowing students to explore strategies for inquiring into the psychological issues related to spiritual life.
Students in this concentration will benefit from the broad, core base of standard psychological theories and methods, as well as explore additional resources for providing compassionate support to people undergoing crisis or change. Individuals grappling with difficult experiences such as marginalization or loss and grief, those troubled by difficult questions such as free will versus fate, and others dealing with existential tensions such as those between body and mind or tradition and progress can benefit from a spiritual component to their psychological care.
Students pursuing the concentration in Spiritual Care and Counseling also learn ways to assist and support people impelled by human longings such as those for meaning, beauty, fulfillment, and transcendence. This program recognizes, as spiritual traditions always have, the teaching and healing potential of nature, of the varied forms of beauty, and of all avenues of connection with the larger whole.
Institutions such as hospitals, prisons, community mental health centers, and community- based organizations have long tapped, and will continue to make use of, lay-led programs and a variety of professional practitioners to serve them.
Core courses in the concentration (which may also be taken as electives) include: Spirituality and Meaning, Spiritual Psychology, Spirituality and the Emotions, Care and Compassion in Spiritual Counseling, and Spiritual Inspiration, Reflection, and Action.
The Psychology and Counseling Faculty members work one-on-one with students as faculty advisors throughout the semester, as well as facilitating group studies, teaching workshops at residency, and acting as second readers to students’ final projects. Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioners with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning. Faculty members’ work with students is focused, clear, and rigorous.
At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor and course mentor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.
Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.
Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.
This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor and course mentors.