Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)




Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Peter VanKatwyk

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This project develops an alternate mode of discourse for the pastoral counselling relationship informed by the process pastoral theology of Larry Kent Graham and the narrative therapy of Michael White. Using hermeneutical research methods it is shown that while Graham's research emphasizes a connective approach to personhood and human relationship, White's research emphasizes a narrative approach. The project begins by exploring the possibilities of developing a connective-narrative description of human relationship. The traditional description of the pastoral counselling relationship informed by the language of modern psychology is then reviewed and set in contrast to the language used by Graham and White. Informed by these resources, a map is developed which describes the pastoral counselling relationship as a place and moment of intentional connecting through mutual narrating. This "connective-narrative discourse" describes the relationship as a place where new meaning- is constructed and new being made available through the interplay of narratives between the client, counsellor and God. The intentional inclusion and articulation of our relationship with God ensures that a wide range of narrative resources are made available in the therapeutic endeavour. Reappearing throughout the work, an actual case study in pastoral counselling provides opportunities for dialogue between theory and practice.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season