South African Theological Seminary

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South African Theological Seminary


By Rev. Dirk Coetsee

A 12 credit course

requiring an average

of 120 hours of study

It is illegal and a violation of Christian ethics to reproduce all or any part of

this Copyrighted book in any form without prior written permission of

Petra College for Children's Ministry

1. Introduction.
Welcome to the course ‘Walking with Wounded Children’. This course is an introduction to child counselling and has three focus areas: (1) It will help you to understand trauma and its effects on children; (2) it will help you to understand the essence of helping relationships with children and (3) it will show you how the child’s language, play, can be involved as a means of communication in the counselling process.
Through examples, case studies and exercises you will gain understanding of yourself and others, in particular children, and by following basic principles, you will be able to enter into a helping relationship with emotionally wounded children.
2. Course Outcomes.
The following are the Course Outcomes and associated Assessment Criteria. Before embarking on the assignments please read through the list carefully and tick each to indicate that it is important in developing your knowledge and skills as a pastor, potential pastor or Christian worker.

Specific Outcome

Assessment Criteria

1. Demonstrate understanding of the concept “Healing”.

1.1 Understanding is demonstrated of the Biblical basis of healing, particularly in terms of the concept “shalom” – peace.

1.2 The term “healing” is defined in the context of wounded children.

2. Identify trauma and its effect on children.

2.1 Trauma is explained in terms of various causes and degrees.

2.2 The effect of trauma is described in terms of common reactions of survivors of trauma.

2.3 A checklist of Behavioural, Emotional and Physical Indicators is applied to assess the effect of trauma in a child’s life.

2.4 Post Traumatic Stress symptoms are described in terms of 3 main symptom fields.

2.5 Effects of trauma on the development of a child are described.

2.6 Factors influencing the effect of trauma on a child are described.

2.7 Attachment and attachment disorders are described in terms of the effect it has on a child.

3. Facilitate the development of a healing relationship.

3.1 The concepts of the so-called “STOP sign model for helping severely traumatised children” are explained.

3.2 The main characteristics of a healing relationship are described.

3.3 Commitment to adopt the characteristics of a healing relationship is displayed.

4. Listen actively.

4.1 The differences between helpful and unhelpful counselling responses are described.

4.2 Mastery of the basic skills of empathic listening and “feeling” responses are demonstrated.

4.3 Children are helped to identify and describe emotions and their important value.

5. Help a group of children in a crisis.

5.1 The process of Critical Incident Debriefing (CID) is described and understood.

6. Apply basic play and storytelling skills to facilitate communication in a relationship with a traumatized child.

6.1 Understanding of the importance and art of “listening” to the non-verbal communication of children through play or drawing is demonstrated.

6.2 Empathic response to non-verbal communication of a child is demonstrated.

6.3 Ability to apply basic therapeutic tools in helping children is demonstrated.

6.4 Understanding and application of basic therapeutic storytelling are demonstrated.

7. Help a Christian group to walk with wounded children.

7.1 The vital importance of Christian “community/fellowship” in the healing process is explained.

7.2 Basic group work skills to facilitate functioning of a caring group are applied.

7.3 Children are brought into a healing relationship with God through the sensitive use of Scripture, prayer and words of wisdom.

7.4 A group is equipped to adopt characteristics of healing relationships and active listening skills to help children.

3. Study Books.
The study material will consist of the following:
Coetsee, D: Walking with Wounded Children, Unpublished training manual, 2003
The following books are recommended reading only and are not necessary for you to purchase:
Lewis, Sharon: An Adults Guide to Childhood Trauma, David Philip Publishers, 1999

Sweeney, D.S.: Counseling children through the world of play, Tyndale House, 1997

Kilbourn, P.(ed): Healing the children of war, MARC 1996

4. Communications

If you have any problems please contact the Registrar on the numbers provided below. Your course tutor is:

SA Theological Seminary

PO Box 258, Rivonia, 2128 South Africa

Postal Address

+27 11 234-4440

Telephone #

+27 11 234-4445



5. Submission of Assignments.
NB!! Please submit the assignments in one batch, as follows:

If you need an extension on this date then you will need to get permission from the registrar at least two weeks before the due date.

Each of your assignments must be set out as follows:

  • Use the attached cover sheet as page 1.

  • Stipulate the course outcome to which the assignment refers (e.g. outcome 4) and the number of the assignment under that outcome (e.g. assignment 4.3).

  • Assignments must be typewritten with the course name and number, your name and the submission date appearing at the top of every page. [If the assignments are not typed they will not be marked].

  • All pages are to be one-and-a-half spacing and typed in size 12 font.

  • All page numbers are to appear at the foot of each page.

NB!! Every assignment you complete must include references to your sources, i.e. the author’s name/s, the title of the book/s and the publisher.

You will notice that most of the assignments are assigned a certain length measured in words. As a guide, one typed page, laid out in size 12 font with 1½ spacing, is equivalent to 300-350 words.

After every outcome, and each assignment, you will find an indication of the hours needed to complete the work. This will also give you an idea of the mark allocations for the various Assignments.
Your work must be posted or E-mailed to the Seminary.

NB! Please do not use the fax.
6. Assignment assessment criteria
Each of your responses to the assignment you complete will be assessed in terms of the following:
6.1 Content

  • You have understood the question correctly.

  • Your selection of reading material was appropriate and adequate.

  • You have shown evidence of wider reading.

  • Your introduction was concise, clear, and relevant.

  • You have clearly identified the central issues.

  • You have adequately researched the breadth of the topic.

  • You have dealt with the topic in sufficient depth.

  • You have analysed and assessed your source material using critical skills.

  • Your Biblical perspective is sound and comprehensive.

  • Your conclusion is logical and appropriate, given the data.

  • You have synthesised your response in a cohesive way.

  • You have developed the logic of your argument in a clear and simple manner.

6.3 Ministry Application

· You have demonstrated a link between theory and practice.

  • You have shown an awareness of ministry issues.
  • You have demonstrated an application of ministry issues to context.

  • You have shown reflection and appropriateness to spiritual life and service.

6.4 Organisation/Style/Format

  • Assignment format (e.g. title page, headings, numbering, margins, font spacing etc.)

  • Organisation: (e.g. length, balance of parts, introduction, conclusion,

  • Referencing and Bibliography (e.g. correct style, accuracy)

  • Your quotations, citations, and referencing were adequate and appropriate.

  • Effectiveness of expression and communication (e.g. style, language,
    clarity, etc.)

  • Spelling and grammar.

6.5 Accuracy

  • Does the learner comply with the marker’s memo in accuracy and correctness of information?

  • Were the questions answered correctly?

7. The Examination
No examination will be written on this course.

8. Criteria for Passing
The sum of the assignments will count for 100% of the total course mark. The pass mark for the assignments is 60%. You will not, however, be advised of your marks but will rather be told “Well done! You have met the qualification standards for this course,” or, “You need to do some more work in the following areas....” Later notation would follow instructions to complete further assignments.

9. Course Evaluation

It is important for the Seminary to know how you found the course. Therefore, we request that you take time to complete the evaluation sheet and time log after you have completed the course and send them, together with the answers to each Assignment, to your tutor - your observations might well help other students. Please note that your responses to the assignments will not be marked if the evaluation sheet and time log are not returned with them.

If you are at all uncertain about how to proceed through this course, please phone or e-mail your tutor - we want you to be confident and comfortable in your studies.

NB: In the training manual you will find different ‘assignments’. Some are for personal reflection and interactivity with the text. Others function as self-examinations. These can usually be identified by ‘boxes’ under the heading ‘Reflection’ within the text and students are encouraged to complete these as part of their own learning process. None of these will be handed in, though.

At the end of each section there are more substantial assignments, usually under the heading ‘Activity’. These can be ignored, since they are incorporated in or replaced by the assignments on the following pages.

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