Diploma in Pastoral Counselling

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From 2015 onwards, PAROC is engaged in the training of lay leaders, clergy and religious with a special emphasis on accompaniment, family-centered pastoral ministry and participatory leadership. We have hitherto conducted more than hundred short courses. Our training programmes are praxis-oriented to equip the participants with skills that enhance their pastoral efficiency. PAROC Research Institute would like to offer Certificate in Youth Animation for youth leaders, lay leaders, religious and clergy as well as seminarians who are interested. The objective of this ten month training programme is to equip catholic leaders for accompaniment, family centered and collaborative pastoral ministry. Those who complete the course successfully will be awarded a Certificate from PAROC Research Institute.



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Title of the Course
Diploma in Pastoral Counselling
Who can participate?
Pastors and leaders engaged directly or indirectly in pastoral activities and those who aspire for the same is welcomed for the course (priests, religious, laity, youth leaders). 
Medium of the Course
Focus of The Course
By developing an effective communication and listening skills, enabling participants to establish authentic empathetic and merciful relationships with those seeking pastoral counselling and those who are in need in the view of evangelization.
Expected Course Outcome
  1. To equip clergy, laity and religious engaged in various ministries in parishes and eparchies to work in collaborative and participatory style.
  2. Equipping them to develop an effective communication and listening skills, enabling participants to establish authentic and empathetic relationships with those seeking pastoral counselling.
  3. To learn techniques for active listening, empathy, and non-judgmental support, creating a safe space for individuals to share their struggles and concerns.
  4. To form Christian leadership who engages in evangelizing and re-evangelizing of our Church and Society
  5. Participants will learn how to apply counselling techniques within the pastoral counselling context, addressing different real-life issues.
Duration of the Course

10 months (June 2024 - April 2025)

Plus Two
Pre-recorded Audio/ Video Lessons, Contact Classes via online, Self-learning class notes, online debates, book reviews, paper presentations, field works, and aa residential leadership training programme.  While designing a diploma course in missionary discipleship ministry, incorporating practical pedagogies is essential for equipping students with the necessary skills and competencies. Here are some practical pedagogies that we plan to employ: Experiential Learning, Reflective Practice, Collaborative Learning, Case-Based Learning, Blended Learning, Role-Modelling, Reflective Supervision, Cultural Sensitivity and Diversity, Integration of Theory and Practice, Assessment and Feedback.
70% of online contact classes.
Programme Structure:
The Certificate Programme includes 10 modules besides, a book review and three-day residential workshop.   Each module includes 4 sub-topics. Each sub-topic includes (a) 3-4 video/audio lessons of 20 - 30 minutes duration = 8 lessons (b) 2 Contact classes of 20-30 minutes duration (c) Materials for Reading. Each programme is equal to 1 credit. 6X 3 = 18 Credits. Paper presentation - 10 credits
70% of online contact classes.
Evaluation of the Course
Exams/ Paper works/Internship/Book Review 
Course Fee
Registration: Rs 3000
Residential workshop does not include the above mentioned fee (Optional)
Board of Studies (2022-2023)

Ex Officio Members:

  1. President: Rev. Dr. Saijo Thaikkattil, Executive Director PAROC Institute
  2. Secretary:  Rev. Dr. Taison Mandumpal, Coordinator, Centre for Pastoral Studies PAROC
  3. Joint Secretary: Rev. Fr. Hadly Neelankavil, Joint Coordinator, Centre for Pastoral Studies PAROC

Nominated Members:

  1. Rev. Prof. Dr. Sebastian Chalakkal (Rector, Marymatha Major Seminary, Trichur)
  2. Rev. Dr. Paul Pulikkan (Director, Christian Chair, University of Calicut)
  3. Prof. Dr. Betsy Thomas (Principal, Amala Medical College, Thrissur)
  4. Rev. Dr. Sajan Pindiyan (Coordinator, Training Centre of PAROC)
  5. Rev. Dr. Saji Kanayankal CST (Coordinator, Research Centre of PAROC)
  6. Dr. Chacko Kalamparambil (Principal, Alphonsa college, Thiruvampady; Spokesperson, Syro-Malabar Church)
  7. Dr. Kochurani Joseph (Spokesperson, Syro-Malabar Church)
  8. Rev. Sr. Ann Caroline CHF (Principal, Navajyothi College of Teacher Education for Women, Olarikkara)
Awarding of Certificate
After successful Completion of the Course, the participants will be awarded Diploma certificate from the PAROC Research Institute.
Important Features
Praxis based lessons
Skill oriented programmes
Pre-recorded audio/video lessons
Online contact classes
Fieldworks, Paper presentations
Debates, Book reviews
Self-learning class notes, Case studies and Group activities
Residential leadership training programme
Personal accompaniment to participants
10 experts from various fields to lead the sessions
Medium - Malayalam
Resource Persons

Mar Tony Neelankavil,  Dr. Alex Marottickal, Dr. Sajan Pindiyan, Fr. Pradheep Mapranathukaran, Dr. Saijo Thaikkattil, Dr. Sr. Sherin CHF, Dr. Denny Thanikkal, Dr. Sijohn Kuzhikkatumalil, Dr. Job Padayattil


Themes Dealt within the Diploma Programme
Introducing Pastoral Counselling
  1. To introduce the students to this Diploma Programme and provide basic orientation. 

  2. To have a basic understanding of pastoral counselling


  1.       Introducing the Programme and its dynamics, methodology and historical progress.

  2.      Theological Perspectives of pastoral counselling and its ethical part.

  3.      Call to be a counsellor

  4.        Different areas of Pastoral counselling  


Basics- 1: Human Development and Psychology

  1. Understanding human development across the lifespan. 
  1.  Introduction to general Psychology

  2. Developmental stages and theories

  3. Understanding the challenges and transitions associated from infancy to adulthood.

  4. Recognizing the impact of cultural, social, and environmental factors on human development

Basics-2: Mental Health Issues and Pastoral Care
  1.  Gaining knowledge about common mental health disorders, and understanding how to provide appropriate pastoral care.
  2. explore ways to integrate spiritual resources, with mental health challenges
  1.  Exploring common mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, bipolar           disorder, and schizophrenia.

  2.  Examining how faith and religion can influence mental well-being.

  3. Addressing the importance of self-care for individuals living with mental health issues.

  4. Pastoral counselling is collaborative ministry


Basics-3: Counselling Techniques

  1. Learning various counselling approaches, techniques and effective communication skills to facilitate therapeutic relationships and promote healing.
  1. Understanding the dynamics of the counselling relationship and Building Therapeutic       Relationships

  2. Developing skills in active listening, empathy, and nonverbal communication to establish rapport and create a safe space for clients.

  3. Learning to interpret and respond appropriately with clints

  4. Ethics of counselling . 



Counselling therapies – Part – 1

  1. Understanding theories and techniques of psychotherapeutic approaches.
  1.  Psychoanalytic Therapy

  2.  Existential therapy

  3.  Person centred Therapy

  4. Solution focused Therapy


Counselling therapies – Part – 2
  1. Understanding theories and techniques of psychotherapeutic approaches.
  1.  Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

  2. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

  3. Trauma Management

  4. Family therapy





Marriage and Family Counselling: 
  1.  Exploring the unique dynamics of marital and family relationships, addressing common issues, and developing skills to provide counselling and support.

   1.    Understanding the foundations of healthy relationships and ways to promot

  2.      Finding strategies for resolving conflicts within marriages and families

 3.      Examining the importance of premarital counselling and exploring topics                                        and  techniques for preparing them properly.

 4.        Introducing the concepts of family systems theory and exploring how it can                                      inform the practice of pastoral counselling with families


Grief and Loss Counselling

  1. Understanding grief and loss of the people, and learn to accompany them through bereavement and the healing journey.
  1.        Exploring the stages and dynamics of grief

  2.       Examining the unique challenges associated with traumatic loss and complicated             grief,

  3.      Learning approaches for providing effective support and healing.

  4.            Exploring the role of rituals, ceremonies, and community and mourning process


Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselling

      1.  Examining the nature of addiction, its impact on individuals and                         families,   and approaches to counselling and support for those                           struggling with addiction .   


1.       Knowing the different types of addiction, the impact on individuals and their relationships

2.    Underlying factors contributing to addictive behaviours

3.    Personalized treatment plans, setting goals, and choosing appropriate interventions

      4.     Developing practical application of these interventions, and behaviour change techniques

  x Crisis Intervention and Trauma Counselling

    1.      Developing skills to provide immediate support and counselling in                       crisis situations or traumatic events


1.        Exploring the principles and techniques of crisis assessment, and knowing crisis response                  protocols, de-escalatio     techniques,

2.      Understanding the impact of trauma on individuals' mental health

3.      Understanding the principles of creating a safe and empowering environment,

       4.      Examining the concept of post-traumatic growth and the potential for personal                                        transformation and resilience after experiencing trauma.


Payment Options
For Further Information Contact:
Dr. Taison Mandumpal   : +91 949 586 45 89
PAROC Office  : +91 807 803 03 00
Email  : paroc.marymatha@gmail.com