The African Association for

The African Association for

Pastoral Studies and Counselling

Pastoral Studies and Counselling

Bringing Pastoral Care and Counselling to Sub-Saharan Africa.

We are the African Association for Pastoral Studies and Counselling (AAPSC), an association that exists to promote pastoral care and counselling throughout Africa.

The association aims to educate, equip, and empower individuals and institutions in the theory and practice of pastoral care and counseling.

The African Association for Pastoral Studies and Counseling (AAPSC) is the African regional body linked to the International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling (ICPCC) (, which facilitates the communication of pastoral care and counselling activities around the world and connects care providers with colleagues around the world.

To read more about the goal and purpose of AAPSC, see the constitution.


News and Announcements

8th African Congress on Pastoral Care and Counselling in 2021

Sep 13, 2019

The next congress, i.e. 8 th African Congress on Pastoral Care and Counselling of the African Association for Pastoral Studies and Counselling (AAPSC) will be held at North-West University, South Africa in 2021. More details to follow.


De Gruyter International Report

Practical Theology in Africa: Situation, Approaches, Framework and Agenda Proposition

Practical Theology’s situation in Sub-Saharan Africa is not well documented except in South Africa, despite a strong theological focus on practical ministry across the continent and considerable discussion of African contextual theologies, including African theology, Black theology, reconstruction theology and women's theology.

The article sketches the context by highlighting the gaps in the discussion of Practical Theology.

AOSIS In die Skriflig / In Luce Verbi

Reflection on pastoral care in Africa: Towards discerning emerging pragmatic pastoral ministerial responses

Pastoral care takes different forms in responding to people’s needs in their context. Accordingly, over the centuries it has evolved in response to emerging needs. Historical developments in pastoral care are well-documented.

However, pastoral care in Africa has a short and unsystematically documented history. Scholarly discussions on pastoral care concerning the continent tend to be considered under African theological frameworks. Notwithstanding the already existing weaknesses in African theological discussion, pastoral care in Africa has remained fragmented with diverse and seemingly knee-jerk approaches in guiding individuals who provide pastoral care.

In view of this, this article firstly aims to provide a broad overview and initiate a discussion on the current challenges in pastoral care in Africa. Secondly, it aims to reveal some gaps worth pursuing by scholars in the discipline. Thirdly, it sheds some light on approaches employed by pastoral practitioners in pastoral ministry practice.

AOSIS HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies

History and developments of pastoral care in Africa: A survey and proposition for effective contextual pastoral caregiving

The practice of pastoral care (cura animarum) over the ages has been informed and influenced by the need to develop creative ways (interventions) to respond to people’s contextual challenges.

These approaches have been well documented. However, the history, developments and emerging pastoral care practices in Africa have not been documented.

This article, by way of a survey, considers the pastoral care approaches that emerged in Africa from the period when Christianity was introduced to the continent.

Ulrike Elsdörfer

Spirituality in diversity. South East Asia meets South Africa - Towards a global view of Spiritual Counselling

The purpose of this book is to introduce the special phenomenon of Spiritual Counselling, as it is practised by Christians in South East Asian countries in the last 50 years.

Reference is also made to the current theory and practice of Spiritual Care and Counselling, especially as a practice of Christian churches in different countries, predominantly in Indonesia.

Previously, it was noticed that there was a lack of knowledge on the above-mentioned field, at least in the European context, but also globally.

The author is part of an academic exchange on the subject of Spiritual Counselling between the two regions described: Indonesia (India and Japan attached) and South Africa. The latter is looked at with special regard to Spiritual and/or Pastoral Counselling. The theological frame of reference is Public Theology.

It lays foundations, explores and designs the social implications of religious work, especially in multi-religious societies. The book does not aim at giving a perfect survey of the current state of research in the field. It is based on encounters with colleagues, interviews and documents.

Ulrike Elsdörfer

Interreligious Encounter on cura animarum

Ulrike Elsdörfer has collected texts from the most diverse traditions that discuss relationships between psychology/psychotherapy and religion(s) in the context of care and counselling.

A special dialogue on the encounter between psychology and religion in post-war Europe is presented by Jewish and Christian counsellors; various other religious accesses to care and counselling turn the spotlight on the emerging intercultural encounter in this field.

Dr. phil. Ulrike Elsdörfer is a Protestant theologian and supervisor.

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