top of page



Trimester 2 – 2024


with Dr Peter & Kathy Downs



This course unit is an introduction to pastoral ministry. It is also an opportunity to overview the biblical and theological foundations of the caring ministry as biblical themes important to pastoral care are surveyed. Common aspects of ministry will also be considered giving particular focus to the functions of pastoral care within the church through the lens of ‘life together’ in the church community understanding that it is God’s love that motivates us to care for one another, both in the church and outside of it. In particular, this unit trains leaders in delivering pastoral care through authentic communities which maximise the opportunities for providing support. It provides skills and resources for pastoral care, including the use of small groups, so people are equipped to care for others. Specific attention is given to examples of ways to care in the faith community and as a missional bridge to those outside the community. Finally, it is noted that the ethics of helping are important and the unit ends with considering what good caring looks like for the carer as well as those we care for.


Learning Outcomes

  • Identify key issues relating to the practice of pastoral care

  • Understand the role of the human sciences in pastoral theology and ministry

  • Apply the insights of biblical and theological foundations to the practice of ministry

  • Demonstrate the ability to reflect in the practice of ministry

  • Develop and make use of effective skills for pastoral ministry


Weekly Sessions​

  ... coming soon



Peter grew up in the Rochester (Vic.) area where his parents owned a hotel. He was ordained in the Anglican Church in the Bendigo Diocese in 1978 and served curacies at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Swan Hill. He also was the Diocesan Youth Officer, rector of Lockington/Milloo and with Kathy started a new church, called View Hill Fellowship, in the All Saints Old Cathedral (Mackenzie St., Bendigo).


That taste of church-planting led to them to being called away from the Anglican Church to establish the first Vineyard Churches in Victoria and for the next 25 years Peter and his wife Kathy planted a number of new churches in Victoria and beyond as well as being the first National Directors of Vineyard Churches for 13 years.


Peter has held a number of roles in bible/theological colleges, specialising ion areas of Pastoral Theology. He is the Director of Vineyard College (Australia).

Peter and Kathy have two daughters Julia and Kara, both who are married and live in Melbourne and Byaduk North respectively, and they have two grandsons and a granddaughter. Peter loves the whole church, sport and plays with old cars. 


Heading 1

bottom of page