This course introduces pastoral care and counseling (clinical track) students to the fundamentals of research methodology, common to social science in general and pastoral care and counseling in particular. Using a practical theological framework, we will address questions such as what it means to conduct empirical research, how we begin and approach research, and for whom we do research. This course will help students become informed and critical consumers of research as well as ideally, active contributors to the research enterprise. Students will also be exposed to ethical, cultural, theological, and practical issues in research.
1. Students will understand basic concepts and strategies of both qualitative and quantitative methods.
2. Students will become more aware of how one’s personal, sociocultural, and contextual formation impacts the research process.
3. Students will learn to reflect ethically and theologically on the relationships involved in research and the broader context of research.
4. Students will develop research literacy, that is, critical skills in reading and evaluating research studies by professionals.
5. Students will increase competency in formulating and communicating research ideas.