Technical Standards - Department of Patient Counseling

The mission of the Department of Patient Counseling is to educate persons to provide pastoral care for the human spirit. In the pursuit of this mission, specific objectives are:

  • To teach care and education in a manner that is theologically aware and cognizant of current theories and skills in caring for ill people.
  • To work holistically with other disciplines and to promote and interpret the place of clinical spiritual care.
  • To provide sensitive and competent pastoral care to patients, families, and staff in which the dignity of culture and life experience of each individual is valued.
  • To provide a supportive environment of a caring community in which to develop for students who are in the professional formation process.
  • To serve as a bridge between the hospital and community in the area of pastoral care of patients and families.


A student applicant for the Department of Patient Counseling must have demonstrated aptitude, abilities and skills, with or without reasonable accommodations, in the following categories: sensory, mobility/motor, learning and behavioral. The technical standards for each category identified below are consistent with the expectations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended in 2008.


The student must be able to:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively in English through oral and written methods to elicit information from and provide information to patients, families, faculty and other health care professionals;
  • Hear with or without assistive devices to elicit information from patients, families, faculty and other health care professionals;
  • Read and comprehend written and oral communications to fulfill requirements of the program and perform the usual tasks and duties of a chaplain in a health care setting;


The student must be able to:

  • Coordinate gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium and skills necessary to operate a keyboard and access information on a computer screen;
  • Safely maneuver in a hospital setting (for example, within small spaces);
  • Possess sufficient stamina to stand or walk for prolonged periods of time as required in the clinical setting;


Student must be able to:

  • Reason, analyze and synthesize complex information to solve problems;
  • Integrate didactic and experiential learning to solve problems with critical judgment and analysis;
  • Incorporate a working knowledge of psychological and sociological disciplines and religious beliefs and practices in the provision of pastoral care;
  • Incorporate the spiritual and emotional dimensions of human development into the practice of pastoral care.


Student must be able to:

  • Present oneself in a manner that reflects professional behavior, including appropriate attire and personal hygiene;
  • Possess the mental health required for full use of his/her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment and the prompt completion of all responsibilities;
  • Function effectively under stress;
  • Relate in a professional manner to patients, families, faculty and other health care professionals;
  • Adapt to changing environments and display flexibility;
  • Support, promote, and encourage ethical decision-making and care.

Any students who have questions about academic accommodations, or wish further information about meeting these standards may contact the Division for Academic Success at (804)828-9782.