The Minister and the Care of Souls

by Daniel Day Williams

Daniel Day Williams was associate professor of Christian theology in the Federated theological Faculty of the University of Chicago and the Chicago Theological Seminary, then Professor of Theology at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

This material is based on a series of lectures Dr. Williams gave in 1959, and was published by Harper & Row in 1961. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


(ENTIRE BOOK) A theologian’s perspective on the issues involved in the pastoral task.


  • Preface

    The author writes as a theologian and minister, and claims no special competence in the field of pastoral counseling. Nevertheless, he has had the privilege of many years’ intimate discussion with those working in this field.

  • Chapter 1 Therapy and Salvation: The Dimensions of Human Need

    From a Christian point of view, human needs must be met on two levels: The need of both the body and the mind for that which sustains and nourishes. The search for therapy becomes transmuted into the quest for salvation.

  • Chapter 2: The Minister’s Authority

    When we speak of authority in the Christian faith and ministry, we must see that authority through its source, namely, in the revelation in Jesus Christ. This is to say that our authority derives from him whose claim rests finally on nothing other than the sheer expression of love to God and to men.

  • Chapter 3: Personal Channels of Grace

    What happens when the individual comes to the pastor for help in time of trouble? While we concentrate on the individual person and his relationship to a counselor, we do not mean to forget the social dimension of life. We must seek to understand the structure of human life as a history of personal relationships in which God’s grace works as transforming power. God’s grace is his love in action.

  • Chapter 4: Forgiveness, Judgment and Acceptance

    Forgiveness, as the Christian understands it, involves all that we mean by psychological acceptance. The pastor should find his capacity to enter into the problems of another sustained and increased by the resources of grace to which in faith he turns.

  • Chapter. 5: The Minister’s Self-Knowledge

    The pastor can obstruct the work of grace if he does not understand himself or his people. That is why churches, theological schools, and laymen are taking a new look at the preparation of the Christian minister.

  • Chapter 6: Life in the Church and the Healing of the Human Spirit

    The church is the true Christian community holding out hope for the nurture and health of spirit to those within it, when it is animated by the spirit of acceptance, of reconciliation, and of service.