Movement through Gestalt Pastoral Care

Personal, Professional & Spiritual

Gestalt Pastoral Care Associates, Inc.


Through the urging of the Holy Spirit, individuals move through Gestalt Pastoral Care (GPC) in order to accomplish God’s healing in their own lives, as well as to become GPC ministers themselves. This document is particularly relevant to those wishing to enter the healing profession, as it outlines the classes required to become a Gestalt Pastoral Care minister. It is noted that some individuals may wish to cycle through the first three classes without intention to pursue authorization as a GPC minister.


Optional Retreats / Classes

Opening to Grace Retreat(s): An opportunity to be surrounded by the gathered church with prayer and laying on of hands; and to have an experienced minister/guide assist you in paying close attention to how God is inviting you to healing, inner growth, and greater wholeness.

Explorations in Gestalt Pastoral Care: An introductory workshop in GPC for people who are interested and curious, with opportunity to experience and reflect on healing work. This class is not intended to be a substitute or prerequisite for any of the four levels of GPC training.

“Embracing, Affirming, Life-Transforming.”

“Embracing, Affirming, Life-Transforming.”

  1. Foundation Class 101: An introduction to Gestalt Pastoral Care that includes both lectures on GPC theory and carefully supervised practice with fellow students. We delve into our basic text, Consenting to Grace by Tilda Norberg. The strategies we practice include: increasing awareness, using faith imagination prayer responsibly, facilitating six simple Gestalt experiments, and personalized healing liturgies. (Contact hours: 155)

    Foundation Class 102: Depending upon their experience, background and goals, many students will benefit from taking the Foundation class a second time for deeper integration. (Contact hours: 155)

    Discernment Assessment Interview:

    Taken during or after Foundation 101 or 102. See description below.

  2. Foundation Practicum: An opportunity for further supervised practice as a Gestalt Pastoral Care guide with fellow students. We encourage students to increase their awareness, to risk becoming more creative, and to trust more fully God’s leading in the GPC process. (Contact hours: 75)

    Discernment Assessment Interview:

    Taken during or after the Foundation Practicum. See description below.

  3. Advanced Class: Delves more deeply into the nature of emotional and relational injuries and teaches more nuanced ways to address them. (Contact Hours: 130)

    Discernment Assessment Interview:

    Taken during or after the Advanced Class. See description below.

  4. Internship: Available for those who discern a call to make GPC a major part of their vocation to ministry. Interns become much more skillful in the practice of Gestalt Pastoral Care in all its components – Gestalt work, spiritual companioning and mature and spiritually grounded healing prayer. Interns are expected to be mature spiritually and emotionally and to promise active attention to their own growth. Admission to the internship program requires an extensive application process and the permission of all of the faculty.

Discernment Assessment Interview:

Taken during or after the Internship. See description below.

Discernment Assessment Interviews

Individuals who wish to pursue GPC ministerial status will engage in a Discernment Assessment Interview sometime during or after each of the following classes: Foundation, Foundation Practicum, Advanced, and Internship. The interviews will provide time for the trainer(s) and student to (1) prayerfully consider competencies revealed by the student’s history, past and present personal “work,” self-assessment, and current goals; and (2) discern together what needs the student presents, what competencies need further attention, and the feasibility of continuing towards the goal of authorization. At least one of the four interviews will occur with one trainer who knows him/her well, and one who does not know him/her well; in addition, in one of the four interviews, usually but not always at the final one, the student will guide someone through a GPC session in the presence of one or two trainers. While all students are supported and nurtured in their personal and professional growth, some students may be advised to move forward in the program, and some may be advised to leave the program at any point in the process.

GPC: what in the world is it?

All candidates for GPC ministry should read this article by Rev. Tilda Norberg to understand GPC’s place in relationship to ministry and clinical practice. Students are encouraged to discuss this with Trainers and peers. Click here for the article.


As of May 2018, GPC Trainers are: Wanda Craner (Southeastern PA), Sara Goold (CT), CJ Haury (Western PA), David Janvier (Western PA), Alexandra McCracken (VA), Tilda Norberg (Staten Island, NY, NYC, Northeastern PA), Linda Thomas (IN), and Betty Voigt (Western PA). Trainers may be contacted directly through the website.

We believe that God calls each of us individually and personally,
and gifts us with talents and desires.