Strengthen Your Pastoral Counseling: 7 Book Recommendations

David Powlison, in his article “The Pastor as Counselor,” recommends these seven books for pastors who want to strengthen their counseling ministry:

Pastoral Care by Gregory the Great

The Reformed Pastor and (for the overly ambitious) Christian Directory ( 5 vols.) by Richard Baxter

Pastoral Counsel by Thomas Oden

Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Powlison also recommends reading fiction because, “Good fiction gives you vicarious experience of people. It builds your case wisdom far beyond the bounds of your own social setting.” He suggests:

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

(And if you want to get into reading fiction in order to benefit your pastoral ministry, you should check out Pastors in the Classics: Timeless Lessons on Life and Ministry fron World Literature by Leland Ryken, Philip Ryken, and Todd Wilson).