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 12th International Congress

12th ICPCC South Africa


Conference Itinerary (detailed)


Please download here:  ICPCC 2023 Conference program (Web)


Accommodation Details


Please download here:  ICPCC 2023 Accommodation, temperature and tourism attractions

Sunday, 2 July 2023:

Arrival at Oliver Tambo Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa (IMPORTANT: Please include your flight itinerary in your registration.)

12h00: Bus leaves from airport to Potchefstroom (Responsible for own lunch / two-hour drive)

18h00: Bus leaves from airport to Potchefstroom (Responsible for own lunch and dinner / two-hour drive)

18h00: Snacks will be served as a light dinner at Sport Village


Monday, 3 July 2023 to Thursday, 6 July 2023: 

Each day Congress starts at 8am and finishes at 6pm.


Friday, 7 July 2023:

8h00 – Breakfast

9h00 – Buses leaves for airport (Two-three-hour drive)

12th ICPCC Congress

3-6 July 2023

Guest Speakers
Father Michael Lapsley is a survivor of Apartheid Era Letter Bomb in South Africa and Founder of Healing of Memories. He was born in 1949 in New Zealand. Today he considers himself a citizen of the world. He moved to South Africa in 1973 to continue his training as a priest in the Anglican Church. In 1976 he was sent into exile by the South Africa apartheid government. After joining the African National Congress, he travelled the world mobilising faith communities against apartheid and ministering to South Africans living in exile. Three months after the release of Nelson Mandela, Father Lapsley received a letter bomb from the apartheid government, seriously injuring him. Several years later, Lapsley gave evidence to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Nelson Mandela. He later founded the Healing of Memories Institute. He has travelled the world helping communities work through traumatic experiences, including New York following 9/11. He was the recipient of 2022 Niwano Peace Prize
Prof. Maake J. Masango is Emeritus Professor of Pastoral care at University of Pretoria. His research in pastoral care focuses on violence and abuse. Prof Masango has mentored over 160 Master’s and PhD students during his illustrious career spanning more than two decades. Further to his research interests in violence and abuse, he is passionate about peace, reconciliation, human co-existence and ubuntu to ensure quality humanhood for all. He is a Senior Church leader in the Presbyterian church in South Africa. Prof Masango has been involved in global Christian leadership and societies in many parts of the world including Europe, South America, North America and Canada, Asia, Africa and the Pacific, among other regions.  Prof Masango has been a Pastor in South Africa during South Africa’s apartheid turmoil years (e.g., being a Senior Pastor at St. Paul PCSA Church Sharpeville 1976 -1979) during the fresh years of Sharpeville massacre (March 21, 1960). He witnessed the transition of South Africa from apartheid to democracy and ministered through those years. Interestingly, his ministry years are almost divided equally between the apartheid and democracy in South Africa making his insights on reconciliation unique. His story is of hope, triumph and resilience of the human spirit.
Prof Thesnaar is professor of practical theology in the discipline group of practical theology and missiology in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University. His focus discipline within Practical Theology is pastoral care and counselling where he is responsible for two-master’s courses on pastoral caregiving. His research areas are on themes related to reconciliation such as memory, trauma, justice, healing and restitution. His most recent publication he co-authored with Len Hansen: Unfinished Business? Faith Communities and Reconciliation in a Post-TRC Context, (2020), form African Sun Media.

Previous Conference


AUGUST 4 – 10, 2019.

A hundred 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…

Opening ceremony

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General Inquries: communications.icpcc@gmail.com