Welcome to the International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling website! Our site facilitates the communication of pastoral care and counselling activities around the world and connects care providers with colleagues around the world. In particular, ICPCC supports and develops the work of care and counseling with our regional and international gatherings called congresses. ICPCC exists to educate, equip, and empower individuals and institutions in the theory and practice of pastoral care and counseling. We promote intercultural and community care. We engage diverse socio-political contexts, and we place a high value on interdisciplinary and interfaith dialogue.

The International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling (ICPCC) is a membership organization that was founded in 1979. Members hail from nearly thirty countries on six continents and are pastors, chaplains, professors, and authors.


The International Council on Pastoral Care and Counseling uses pastoral care and counseling to respond to current needs and situations facing people and communities in the world. We aim to enhance the scientific as well as the academic and praxis quality of the field of pastoral care and counselling.

ICPCC’s mission is

To promote the reflective theory and practice of pastoral care and counselling throughout the world.

To inform, train, educate and inspire practitioners of pastoral care and counselling in various contexts in the world.

To enable practitioners of pastoral care and counselling to be resources for one another and to learn from each other’s cultures, traditions and practices.

To support and to advocate for the unique and essential dimension of spirituality in the teaching and practice of pastoral care and counselling, i.e. the merging of pastoral care with the spiritual dimension of care and healing (pastoral therapy)

To develop relevant theories in the field of pastoral care and counselling and to this end to engage in interdisciplinary discourse.

To organize and assist in the organizing of conferences, consultations and meetings in various areas of the world.

To support the development of counseling centers and organizations for pastoral care and counseling in various parts of the world.

To increase interaction with other care and counselling organizations.

To enhance research as related to spiritual and religious issues, as well as to the human quest for meaningful living and human dignity within the parameters of a multi-faith approach.

The 13th International Congress: 

Radboud University, City of Nijmegen Netherlands

Rural Village in Gelderland, the Dutch province which hosts the city of Nijmegen, home to Radboud University.

Conference Itinerary: Pending


Check back with us! Details will be shared as the conference schedule is developed.



President’s Newsletter

By Vhumani Magezi

  1. Reflection on Global Care

A South African journalist, reflecting on the devastating bombardment of Gaza resulting in the loss of 30,000 lives and counting[1], remarked on a radio show, “it seems like the world is burning.” Indeed, it seems like the entire world is burning.

At the time of holding the 12th ICPCC conference in South Africa (Potchefstroom) from July 3-6, 2023, we were during the Russia and Ukraine war that is continuing. The theme was “Pastoral caregiving within processes of radical socio-political transformation, change and conflict.” Reflections at the conference highlighted the need for pastoral care to be reimagined as a public caring endeavour. This will enable our pastoral care to be positioned towards responding to the care needs such as the pain, traumas, anxieties, frustrations, hopelessness, anger, despair, and disillusionment that arise from the current global turmoil. Journeying and accompanying people to achieve healing in such situations is an urgent challenge. Click here to read more . . .

[1] This number is taken from estimates published by the Associated Press, BBC, and AlJazeera, news sources as of March 4, 2024.

[2] https://icpcc.net/icpcc-congress-2025/


Out of the Depths: Contours of Spiritual Care in a Wounded World

A Unique Partnership On the Occasion of an Auspicious Anniversary Year

The executive committees of the International Council on Pastoral Care & Counseling (ICPCC) and the European Council on Pastoral Care & Counseling (ECPCC) have been corresponding and meeting since late November with the purpose of collaborating to bring pastoral caregivers and educators together from around the world for a joint congress.  Although ICPCC  has traditionally held its congress on an every-four-year basis (the next ICPCC Congress would normally be held in 2027), the chance to partner with ECPCC seemed to be too good an opportunity pass by. The reflection written below by Hans Schilderman, member of the ECPCC executive committee and a professor of practical and empirical religious studies at Radboud University in the Netherlands, will give readers a provocative glimpse into the aims and objectives of this upcoming joint congress. Click Here to Read More

Warm Memories of

South Africa 2023 

Thank You North-West University and Potchefstroom, SA!

Gathering together to celebrate forty-four years of thinking globally and acting locally to further the art and the heart of spiritual care, conference attendees where inspired and challenged by the leadership of keynote presenter father Michael Lapsley and by members from around the world who shared their practices of spiritual care in context.

Participants from as far afield as Norway, Sweden, Germany, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nicaragua and the USA joined others from Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, to be educated, to reflect, and to share with each other on the theme of Learning to Serve People of Other Cultures. Read more…

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