Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)




In the United States in 1965, 1,789,000 marriages were performed. In the same year there were 481,000 divorces granted. In addition, less than five out of ten Americans consider their marriage "very happy." And over half of the Americans who did consider themselves to be very happily married felt inadequate as wives or husbands. It is important to notice that since most of those planning on marriage go to the pastor to,perform the ceremony and ask for guidance, many families having marital problems go first to their pastor for help. Dr. Wayne E. Oates has said:

The pastor, regardless of his training, does not enjoy the privilege of electing whether or not he will counsel with his people... His choice is not between counseling or not counseling, but between counseling in a disciplined and skilled way and counseling in an undisciplined and unskilled way.

It is also important to study in the fields where the pastor must spend many of his working hours. In surveying thirty-four suburban Pittsburgh pastors, it was found that they spend thirty per cent of their time in counseling. Perhaps the most important reason for a study of this nature is that:

Training in counseling enhances a clergyman's effectiveness as a renewal agent in the non-counseling aspect of his work-preaching, teaching, calling, worship, administration, group leadership, evangelism, family life activities, social action, community leadership, and the many non-counseling·:dimensions of pastoral care.