Who is This Course For?



A one year, part-time course to gain confidence in dealing with complex mental health issues

Who is This Course For?


This course is aimed at those working in pastoral care who want to gain greater confidence and additional skills to better care for those suffering from mental illness. This course will up-skill you with what to do when a person presents with symptoms such as: suicidal thoughts, self-harm, eating disorders and addictions.

How Does It Work?


The course is broken into three, one week blocks, across the year.


The block course will be run Monday - Friday, 9am - 3pm.


Auckland Block Courses

Block 1:  May 11 - 15

Block 2:  August 3 - 7

Block 3:  October 19 - 23

Venue: Church Unlimited

Christchurch Block Courses

Block 1:  April 20 - 24

Block 2:  July 13 - 17

Block 3:  October 5 - 9

Venue: South City C3, 510 Colombo St

Invercargill Block Courses

Block 1:  March 30 - April 3

Block 2:  June 29 - July 3

Block 3:  September 21- 25

Venue: C3 Invercargill


Approximately 2 hours work per week will be required after each block course, involving reading, reflection, and resource creating. You will be required to find a supervisor and have a session with them after each block course.

Topic Areas

  • Personal development of the pastoral worker

  • Pastoral counselling skills tool bag

  • Common presenting issues and the core drivers behind each

  • Common, complex mental health issues

  • Understand key components that are the building blocks of wellbeing and resilience

  • The role of the church in caring for those with complex issues

  • Understanding the change dynamic

  • Self care, safety, and ethical standards

Course Outcomes


By the end of this course, a student will be able to:

  • Build a pastoral relationship where the person feels heard and empowered

  • Recognise what good mental-emotional health looks like 

  • “Triage” a person and their pastoral needs

  • Understand the core drivers behind a range of pastoral and mental health issues

  • Integrate Christian faith and theology with mental health

  • Identify one’s own triggers that may influence their pastoral work

  • Maintain healthy boundaries and self care

Course Fees


$1,500 + GST ($1,725 incl GST)

Pastoral Counselling Course

This course can also be taken to become trained in pastoral counselling. You will complete the same block courses but have different practical work requirements. 


“This course is a shortcut to advanced skills and wisdom that works.”

“Well worth it if you want to take that next step to doing more with people to help them.” 


“A deeply rich and rewarding experience.”


“It felt like it had been perfectly designed for me."

"It's amazing! You're not going to come out the same way you went in."

Richard Black

BA. BD. M.Couns. MNZAC

Course Teacher


Richard is the founder and Managing Director of Strength to Strength, a counselling and training organisation. He is an ordained minister and a trained counsellor, working alongside churches to provide specialised support for their pastoral care. Through his counselling, training, and public speaking he helps people strengthen their thinking, be proactive in relationships, and succeed with life.


Having been involved in pastoral ministry for many years, Richard understands the everyday struggles that people face and the demands on church leaders. Richard’s ‘Just a thought’ segment is broadcast each week on Radio Rhema (NZ’s national Christian radio station).


P (03) 323 9858 | M 027 200 5018

38 Elizabeth Street, Riccarton, Christchurch, New Zealand

© 2019 Strength to Strength