Pastoral Narrative Therapy Course


Getting ready to lift off. Enrollment for 2021 opens September. We’re busy updating information through everything here or our 2020 documents will give you very good idea of what you will be in for.

Notice: This page is also available in Afrikaans.

South Africa has a unique history with this kind of therapy where the development of Narrative Therapy in the South African context was and is significantly advanced by pastoral communities. (What is narrative? See this short description in Afrikaans)

People interested in pastoral narrative therapy are typically intrigued by both the pastoral aspect of the work as well as working with stories. ‘Pastoral narrative’ is therefore a unique offering that deals both with pastoral concerns and approaches but is also fully training in ‘Narrative Therapy’ as one would encounter it all over the world. Please reach out to us if you have any reservation, theologically or otherwise.

Enrollment notice video

Other invite/overview videos


This is Nicky from i4cc our representing partner in Benoni with the invite for 2019.

Onboard for end of January

A recent invite [in Afrikaans] from our national managing director.

Students share (English subtitles)

George campus - photos of various groups across the country (Afr. video)

The remainder of this page is divided into a registrationform section and other documents and a section offering course information.

Registration forms


Pastoral Narrative Therapy (campus section PNT20A)

Registration forms for the following regions:

Pastoral Narrative Therapy (campus section PNT20B)

Registration forms for the following regions:
  • Constantia Kruin (Roodepoort, West Rand);
  • Benoni (East Rand);
  • Lydenburg (Mpumalanga);
  • Mossel Bay (South Cape).
  • Choose either:
    Easy electronic registration
    Download registration form in print version

    Pastoral Narrative Therapy (campus section PNT20C)

    If you have an established relationship with these learning campuses below (which overlaps with Section PNT20B you may, if you wish, contact them directly. In this case they will give you registration form PNT20C or an alternative to fill out. If you do not have their contact information please use form PNT20B above. Both will get prospective students enrolled.

    • Constantia Kruin (Roodepoort, West Rand);
    • Benoni (East Rand);
    • Lydenburg (Mpumalanga);
    • Mossel Bay (South Cape).

    Course information

    The download version of the following information on this page can be accessed here.

    1. Introduction

    The Pastoral Narrative Therapy course has been developed to provide students with practical exposure to pastoral narrative care. As an advanced certificate formal programme students will be equipped to co-create hope and facilitate healing in a wide variety of pastoral situations – situations which are telling in the Southern African societal context. While some students use the programme for self development others set their aim towards building a counseling practice.

    2. Outcomes

    • An integrated understanding of pastoral narrative therapy;
    • The capacity to integrate pastoral theology and narrative therapeutic skills in a meaningful and creative way in practice;
    • To develop possibilities for students to operate in a pastoral therapeutic way within different specialisation fields (trauma, addiction, marriage, etc.);
    • To make a pastoral therapeutic contribution to the healing of communities.

    3. Outcomes for pastoral therapists

    • To recognise the toxic elements of western culture;
    • To discover the role that people’s faith narratives play in their emotional- , relational- and spiritual well-being;
    • To gain insight into one’s own family and with awareness and agency comes the possibility of restoration or growth;
    • To contribute to the restoration of the lives of individuals, marriages, families and communities.

    4. Uniqueness of the course

    • During and after the course the student becomes part of the Coram Deo Community: a community that is based on respect, support and fellowship;
    • With lecture and consulting rooms, a chapel, Coram Deo offers a strong support structure for the student to thrive in.
    • Due to an established academic culture the student will receive excellent training;
    • Coram Deo offers the student the opportunity to have pastoral narrative therapeutic conversations with people.
    • If the student chooses to continue his/her studies for a third year, the student may enroll in the Continuous Learning- and/or the university accredited Supervision Programme;
    • Coram Deo’s senior pastoral therapists are there to guide the student throughout the programme;
    • At Coram Deo we integrate the narrative paradigm with pastoral theology and human sciences. A narrative approach, as a social science, has various application possibilities in modalities, such as facilitation and coaching. This is a mouth-full. Do come and talk to us!
    • Students who completed the course would feel competent to contribute their skills to their working environments. Especially when continuing with the supervision program there would be further counseling opportunities at Coram Deo.

    5. Course Leadership

    Dr Elmo Pienaar, national managing director, along with experienced counselors, lectures, local student experience-facilitators and learning partners.

    6. Course Content

    Modules presented during the two years:

    • The narrative paradigm
    • Pastoral Theology
    • A pastoral narrative approach to:
    • ¤ Marriage and relationship counselling
    • ¤ Child therapy, or teenagers and young adulthood*
    • ¤ Various forms of abuse
    • ¤ Bereavement and trauma counselling
    • ¤ Dependency (eg, substance and alcohol)
    • ¤ Depression and anxiety

    * There are to few weeks during the year to cover both. The one not covered are also presented as part of our open programmes which students can then enrol for separately.

    7. Method of presentation

    • Lectures
    • Group Discussions
    • Practice skills in class
    • Research
    • Assignments
    • Online assisted learning

    8. Additional information about the course

    • This course is a two year advanced certificate course, accredited with the University of Pretoria.
    • Students have to attend lectures for approximate 32 weeks per year, one 3-hour discussion class per week. The format of presentation may differ in some regions based on intake numbers. See current schedules here.
    • Students must have attendance of 80% for any given year.
    • Weekly reading material is estimated at between 30-50 pages, approximate three to five hours per week.
    • Over the two years five assignments are to be completed.

    (Please note that requirements differ slightly between some regions and online groups though in the end asks similar output from students)

    9. Assessment

    There is an 80% class attendance requirement and five assignments over the two years of study. During the first year the following two assignments are compulsory:

    • 1) Power discourses; and
    • 2) Theological discourses

    During the second year, three assignments must be completed. Based on the topics covered during the particular second year, some choices include:

    1) Dependency (e.g., alcohol)
    2) Relationship counseling
    3) Trauma
    4) Abuse (e.g., sexual molestation)
    5) Child and teenage therapy
    6) Depression and, or, anxiety

    10. Who may enroll?

    The academic requirement to enter this course is a matric certificate with three years further education, or the equivalent in work experience (Recognition of Prior Learning).

    Students who do not fulfill the minimum requirements may still be accepted depending on the amount of enrollments we receive of students who do fully qualify.

    If you feel uncertain, please come and talk to us.

    11. Deadline for registration

    End of January 2020

    12. Registration

    (Please see the relevant section at the beginning of the page.

    Proceed as follows:

    • Fill out the interactive electronic registration form above (being our administrative preference). Alternatively download the print version or request that the print version be emailed to you (info AT
    • Make the deposit payment to the learning campus bank account and send the notification of payment to the relevant email address of that campus (indicated on the registration form or Section 13). If you use the print version registration form which is either emailed to you or downloaded from this page then that should also be emailed to the relevant campus email address. Campus specific email addresses are displayed on the registration form.
    • It is desirable for students to be on the prospective student email list as early as possible but note that the registration fee of R1690 secures your place in the programme. Filling out the registration form adds prospective students to said list; alternatively you have to specifically request it.

    13. Coram Deo’s Address

    Classes are presented in various regions (or online). The main campus is at the physical pastoral counselling centre in Pretoria or brought to you by host entities or independent learning campuses of Coram Deo across the country. Main campus contact detail: 012 998 8323 / or 9083 and info AT coramdeo DOT co DOT za Contact detail for other campuses are included on the respective registration forms.


    Coram Deo Pretoria (main campus)
    Coram Deo Pastoral Centre
    C.o. Lea and Hugo street
    Waterkloof Glen
    Region specific information

    Institute for Creative Conversations
    Emseni community centre
    61a, Road 5 (off Great North Road)
    Brentwood Park/ Kempton Park
    East Rand
    Region specific information

    Constantiakruin Congregation
    C/o Liebenberg Street and Yolande Avenue
    Constania Kloof
    West Rand
    Region specific information


    Eden Congregation
    N2 road to Victoria Bay
    Region specific information

    Mossel Bay
    Caritas care centre
    Dutch Reformed Church Mossel Bay
    C/o George Road & Church Street
    Mossel Bay
    Region specific information


    Durbanville-Bergsig congregation
    Region specific information


    Dutch Reformed Church Lydenburg South
    Region specific information

    (Venue to be confirmed)

    (Venue to be confirmed)
    Region specific information

    (Use Pretoria information)
    Online studies can also have a semi-contact driven approach explained below. Technically all our online studies are contact based as it takes the form of standard weekly meetups via video. Think ‘Skype’ although that is not what we use. We will brief students who enroll in this way thoroughly. It is generally much easier than one thinks and most feedback we receive is that it is indeed still a very personal journey.

    * Please note that KZN and Free State are currently areas of development. The format/schedule to be followed will likely involve a two-prong approach: Weekly online video based conversation in a small group format with either monthly or quarterly content reflection opportunities in the region specified. Any student who enroll online can attend such opportunities. Each group receives a link to an online classroom (No sign up is required). This technology allows for video/audio, power point presentation, playing of sound, small group breakaways for practical sessions and more.

    14. The minimum number of students

    The minimum number of enrollment to run the course in a particular region in our preferred format is 20 participants.

    Congregations and institutions can also establish a learning campus with the input from Coram Deo Pretoria. You are welcome to inquire.

    15. Dates

    Please mark the following dates for Pretoria Learners. For learners in other areas the information will be communicated directly via email when it becomes available.

      • Information evening: 18 November 2019 at 18:30
      • Welcoming Evening: 23 January 2020 at 18:30
      • The week from 27 January 2020 until end of November 2020: one class per week (excluding school holidays)
      • Classes for Pretoria takes place one day per week, either in the morning or evening.

    See the class schedules/format here as it becomes available in different regions.
    Class schedule

    16. Cost

      • The annual cost of tuition is R8450. The total cost for the two years tuition is R16 900,00.
      • There is an additional cost of R1500 payable during the first year for books. Second year books are optional.
      • There is a R200 fee per year for literature rights. Total for the two years R400.
      • The list of books will be announced to registered students. Different arrangements are made by different campuses.

    The payment / cost schedule is as follows:

    1st Year:
    Registration fee: R1690 (non refundable but is subtracted from the tuition fee)
    Remaining class/tuition fees for 2020: R6950
    Approximate book fees total for first year R1500 (also used for second year).
    Literature rights fee of R200

    2nd Year:
    Registration fee for 2019: R1690 (non refundable but subtracted from the tuition fee)
    Outstanding class fees for 2019: R6950
    Literature rights fee of R200

    17. Payment methods

    • With registration fees paid (January), the remainder of the fees are divided into 10 monthly payments of R676 per month per year form February to November.
    • EFT
    • Card payment at select campuses

    18. Further studies at the University of Pretoria

    • The two year course opens the way to then enroll for a University of Pretoria postgraduate diploma in theology which in turn could lead to a relevant masters and thereafter doctorate degree in pastoral care.
    • All admissions of the post-graduate diploma is based entirely on the discretion of the university’s admission committee.
    • Outstanding performance during the Coram Deo programme (in theory, assignments [also quality writing and way of dealing responsibly with sources], and practice) adds to the evaluation criteria used by the University. This could lead to two possibilities: The Coram Deo programme being a credit bearing curriculum for some aspects of the postgraduate diploma in theology or credit bearing/substituting the curriculum aspect of the relevant masters programme.