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Online · School of Behavioral Sciences · Community Care and Counseling

Multicultural Issues in Pastoral Counseling

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 02/06/2020

Course Description

This course introduces students to the constructs of Ethnicity, Families, and Counseling. It focuses on the contribution of ethnic background to family makeup and functioning. Major ethnic minorities are studied along with the counseling approaches appropriate to each.





Today’s society is diverse. Tomorrow’s world will contain an even more multicultural mix. In order to possess the values, knowledge, and skills to impact tomorrow’s world in a way that reflects God’s love and compassion, today’s ministers, especially pastoral counselors, must be prepared to work effectively and efficiently with this increasingly diverse population.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Analyze multicultural trends as they impact the church and pastoral care environment.
  2. Compare and contrast his/her own cultural background, attitudes, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences with those of persons from other cultural groups.
  3. Articulate his/her own model of pastoral multicultural care in light of existing pastoral care theories.
  4. Differentiate how different cultural experiences shape a pastoral care client’s identity development.
  5. Differentiate individual, couple, family, group, and community pastoral care strategies for working with diverse populations.
  6. Distinguish how different church and pastoral care responses to clients with sexual orientation issues can hinder or help the person’s healing and growth in Christ.
  7. Articulate how gender differences impact pastoral care issues and ministry strategies.
  8. Compare and contrast how different worldview assumptions between pastoral counselors and their clients influence assessment and pastoral counseling.
  9. Describe a biblical/theological perspective that promotes appreciation of diversity in creation while maintaining a distinctively evangelical viewpoint.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchases

Anderson, D., & Zuercher, B. (2001). Letters across the divide: Two friends explore racism , friendship, and faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books. ISBN: 9780801063435.

Hays, D. G., & Erford, B. T. (2018). Developing multicultural counseling competence: A systems approach (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson. ISBN: 9780134523804.

Qureshi, N. (2016). Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. ISBN: 9780310527237.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with that required by state licensing boards in the class subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

 Recommended Resource Purhcases

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

DeYmaz, Mark & Li, Harry. (2010). Leading a healthy multi-ethnic church: Seven common challenges and how to overcome them. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. ISBN: 9780310515395.

Diller, J. V. (2015). Cultural diversity: A primer for the human services (4th ed.). Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781285075402.

Hildebrand, V. P., Phenice, L. A., Gray, M. M., & Hines, R. P. (2008). Knowing and serving diverse families (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. ISBN: 9780132285445.

McGoldrick, M., Giordano, J., & Garcia-Preto, N. (Eds.) (2005). Ethnicity and family therapy (3rd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press. ISBN: 9781593850203.

Sue, Derald Wing, & Sue, David. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons. ISBN: 9781119084303.

 Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio and video equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Office
    5. Adobe Reader

Course Assignments

Textbook readings, lecture presentations, and articles

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will participate in 5 Discussion Board Forums designed to allow the student to interact with course materials. Each Discussion Board Forum consists of a 500-word thread and at least 1 reply to a classmate that is at least 250 words. The student must incorporate and synthesize course materials, support his or her assertions using scholarly research, and use current APA format.

Book Response: Letters across the Divide

After reading Letters across the Divide, the student will report on how the concepts of the book apply to his or her life situation. The paper will include 3 main sections. First, though the book features a discussion between only 2 races, the student will apply the principles to other racial/cultural groups. Second, the student will discuss barriers to racial/cultural harmony and reconciliation of the featured race/culture. Finally, the student will address a pastoral counseling case study.

Book Response: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

After reading Seeking Allah, Findng Jesus, the student will provide a research-based commentary on Islam.  The student will then discuss the author’s (Qureshi) conversion to Christianity.  Finally, the student will address a pastoral counseling case study.

Exams (3)

The student will complete 3 timed, non-cumulative, open-book/open-note exams. Each exam will consist of 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions covering the course textbook readings, and have a 1-hour time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (5 at 100 pts ea)


Book Response: Letters across the Divide


Book Response: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus


Exams (3 at 100 points each)





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


PACO 504

Textbooks:   Anderson & Zuercher, Letters across the Divide (2001).

Hays & Erford, Developing Multicultural Counseling Competence (2018).

Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2016).


Reading & Study




Anderson & Zuercher: chs 1–3

Hays & Erford: chs. 1–2

Qureshi: Prologue, Part 1

2 presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions




Anderson & Zuercher: chs 4–7

Hays & Erford: chs. 3–4, 7

Qureshi: Parts 2–3

4 presentations

DB Forum 1

DB Forum 2




Anderson & Zuercher: chs 8–12

Hays & Erford: chs. 5, 8, 13

Qureshi: Parts 4–5

2 presentations

Exam 1



Anderson & Zuercher: pp. 13–15

Hays & Erford: ch. 6

Qureshi: Parts 6–8

1 presentation

1 website

DB Forum 3



Hays & Erford: ch. 9

Qureshi: Parts 9–10, Epilogue

1 presentation

Book Response – Letters across the Divide



Hays & Erford: chs. 10, 15

2 presentations

DB Forum 4

Exam 2




Hays & Erford: chs. 11–12

4 presentations

Book Response – Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

DB Forum 5




Hays & Erford: chs. 14, 16–17

4 presentations

1 article

Exam 3




DB = Discussion Board

NOTE:     Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.