Pastoral care is the ministry of care and counseling provided by pastors, chaplains and other religious leaders to members of their church, join congregation or persons within a faith-based institution. This can range anywhere from home visitation to formal counseling provided by pastors who are licensed to offer counseling services. This is also frequently referred to as spiritual care.
'Pastoral care' is also a term applied where people offer help and caring to others in their church or wider community. Pastoral care in this sense can be applied to listening, supporting, encouraging and befriending.
Pastoral care can also be a term generally applied to the practice of looking after the personal and social wellbeing of children under the care of a teacher. It can encompass a wide variety of issues including health, social and moral education, behavior management and emotional support.