Bereavement Ministry: A Christian PerspectiveCourse Level: Intermediate

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Discovering grief from a Christian perspective
  • Understanding bereavement, grief and loss – development of current understandings
  • Reflecting on personal experiences of grief and loss
  • Responding to people who are bereaved
  • Living with loss

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Doris Zagdanski STUCK FOR WORDS - What to say to someone who is grieving

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Session 1
    • To deepen the participants’ background and knowledge of the Christian understanding of ‘ Jesus at the heart of Ministry’ throughout the New Testament
    • Participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the pastoral relationship based on Jesus’ responses and actions in the Gospels
    • This pastoral relationship is their reference point for companioning bereaved people
  • Week 2: Bereavement, Grief and Loss - Development of Current Understandings
    • Participants will be exposed to the major trends in current grief and loss research
    • Participants will have the opportunity to develop further the ability to apply theological understanding to the experience of grief and loss
    • Participants may grow in understanding of the individuality and diversity of the experience of grief and loss
    • Participants will continue to develop an understanding of the centrality of the pastoral relationship in companioning bereaved people
  • Week 3: Reflecting on Personal Experiences of Grief and Loss
    • To enable participants to discover what has drawn them in to ministry with people who are bereaved
    • Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on their own experience of grief, loss and bereavement
    • Participant have the opportunity to apply their developing knowledge of grief, loss and bereavement to their own experience
    • Participants have the opportunity to develop deeper understanding of the value of appropriate listening to the story for a bereaved person
    • Participants have awareness that grief is a very individual experience and determined by many variables, eg culture, gender, beliefs
  • Week 4: Responding to People Who are Bereaved
    • To provide participants with knowledge of appropriate responses and actions when offering support to bereaved people
    • To offer participants further opportunities to heighten their awareness of their motives, attitudes and feelings in companioning bereaved people
  • Week 5: Living With Loss
    • Participants will discover more about the lifelong journey of bereavement and grief and their role in companioning those who are bereaved
    • Participants can learn to appreciate the levels of change that apply to a person’s adaptation to a new life without their love ones
    • Participants have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the value of ritual to facilitate these changes
    • Participants can learn to appreciate that through the pain and terrible confusion of grief, a person may find they develop into a person with gifts and qualities they never imagined possible for themselves
    • That the experience of bereavement has the potential for a person’s relationship with God to develop into a more intimate and loving one