Catholic School Counseling: From Guidance to Pastoral Care

By Murray, Robert; Suriano, Kristy et al. | Catholic Education, September 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Catholic School Counseling: From Guidance to Pastoral Care

Murray, Robert, Suriano, Kristy, Madden, Judith, Catholic Education

Those ministering to youth increasingly find themselves having to address numerous issues and complexities, which extend beyond the scope of the school setting. Catholic school students are not immune to these issues, and to address the needs of their students, Catholic school counselors must embrace aspects of the social sciences that affirm and elevate the message of the Gospel. The intent of this article is to present a Christian perspective of guidance counseling and to highlight those orientations and therapies that uphold Christian values.



School guidance began in the early 1900s, when the role of the school counselor was to prepare students for entrance into the work force. However, the school counselor's role grew to include academic advisement and the implementation of broader counseling services. Although cautious about accepting guidance programs from the onset, Catholic schools have emerged to incorporate this broader perspective.


Measures of intelligence and achievement laid the groundwork for the school guidance movement. Thorndike constructed standardized, objective achievement tests, which were of particular assistance in vocational guidance (Humphreys, Traxler, & North, 1967). Binet and Simon developed a test of intelligence, which they administered to individual children in school (Humphreys et al., 1967).

In 1908, the Vocational Guidance Association of Brooklyn was established (Lee & Pallone, 1966). By 1910, approximately 35 cities began to implement school guidance programs, and the first National Conference on Vocational Guidance, representing nearly 45 cities, was held (Lee & Pallone, 1966). In 1913, the first professional guidance organization, The National Vocational Guidance Association, was established at The Third National Conference (Lee & Pallone, 1966). Guidance programs at this time were primarily concerned with occupational counseling, based on student input and discussion of their interests. Students also were assessed for their abilities, using the tests developed by Binet and Simon (Lee & Pallone, 1966).

The 1920s were a time of significant change in the theory and practice of vocational guidance. The school guidance paradigm expanded to include an interest in the quality of student life. One notable development during the late 1920s was the cumulative record. Humphreys and Traxler (Gysbers & Henderson, 1994) considered this to be a landmark because, prior to this, there was no way of knowing how students progressed throughout their school career. The utilization of aptitude tests also made a significant impact (Humphreys et al., 1967). Additionally, during this decade, English psychologist Spearman demonstrated how a student's score varied according to the different sections of the test (Humphreys et al., 1967).

While the middle of the 1920s witnessed the use of intelligence and achievement tests, the development of personality inventories also increased (Humphreys et al., 1967).

With support from organizations and foundations such as the Commonwealth Fund, the school guidance movement of the 1920s gained momentum. However, the momentum soon came to an abrupt halt at the end of the decade, with The Great Depression. School budgets decreased, and school guidance felt the severity of the blow (Lee & Pallone, 1966).


During the first decade of the 20th century, Catholic clergy generally thought of vocational education as unnecessary and as taking away from a solid education. However, a minority of teaching priests argued that vocational education served a valid purpose (Lee & Pallone, 1966). One such advocate was Dom Thomas Vernor Moore, a prominent Catholic educator with a background in psychology, who proposed that certain aspects of psychology be incorporated into a Catholic education.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Catholic School Counseling: From Guidance to Pastoral Care


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?