Psychology and religion

Celebrating diversity : a seminar for the local church using Jungian psychological type theory to promote tolerance of divergent opinions on non-essentials of the faith

Philip Verne De Jonge
This project is a series of nine seminar study units designed to provide the information local church members need to understand and appreciate diversity of opinion on non-essentials of the faith which results from personality differences as described by Jungian psychological type theory. Each unit contains a group discussion guide.

The first three study units present a biblical perspective on diversity of opinion in the church. Unit one is an investigation of diversity in the New Testament church designed to demonstrate that a romanticized conception of the early years of the Christian era as a time of uncomplicated unity and undisturbed unanimity of opinion is inconsistent with the testimony of the biblical material. Unit two is an examination of New Testament unity "in Christ." Unit three is a presentation of the strategies, attitudes, and skills necessary to promote the celebration of diversity of opinion in the local church.

The second set of three study units presents a psychological explanation for diversity in the church based on the personality type theory of Carl G. Jung. Unit four contains an introduction to Jung and his type theory, style, and religious attitude. Unit five is a detailed explication of psychological type. Unit six offers descriptions of the sixteen psychological types isolated by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The final three study units present applications of psychological type theory to three areas of significant diversity in the church. Unit seven addresses differences in worship and prayer styles. Unit eight investigates different approaches to biblical interpretation. Unit nine describes different concepts of ministry according to a four part Sloat-Bailey ministry gird and demonstrates a correspondence between these divisions and the functions of type theory.

Spiritual growth through journal writing as a therapeutic intervention with victims of post-traumatic stress disorder

Donald A Amidon
This book describes the use of Intensive Journal Writing as a spiritual development mechanism for Vietnam War combat veterans who are Post-traumatic Stress Disorder victims.

Chapter One describes the trauma of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and addresses the therapeutic task of healing.

Chapter Two presents a description of the physiological and psychological effects of stress. Effective coping mechanisms and stress management techniques are evaluated.

Chapter Three reviews the biblical concept of prayer and the implications of spiritual development for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder victims. Attention is drawn to the response of God to prayers of petition.

Chapter Four reviews theological perspectives which pertain to Intensive Journal Writing as a psychological and spiritual development resource. As the revealed activity of God becomes the work of redemption, healing activity is defined.

Chapter Five presents the Intensive Journal Writing technique of Ira Progoff. The use of this Journal Writing system as a part of a Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Rehabilitation Program is described. Special consideration is given to the spiritual dimension of journal development.

Chapter Six demonstrates that Intensive Journal Writing is a productive means of spiritual development. The deepening character of Journal Writing is described as a method of stress reduction, spiritual development and healing.

A Heuristic correlation of Kohutian self psychology and Pauline anthropology as a resource for pastoral psychotherapy

Glenn H Chapman
This project-thesis proposes a correlation of Kohutian self psychology and Pauline anthropology as a resource for the theoretical articulation and clinical practice of pastoral psychotherapy. The paper consists of five chapters and a bibliography.

Chapter One presents evidence of increasing signs of narcissism in contemporary society from sociological, psychoanalytical, and theological sources. Pastoral psychotherapy's growing interest in addressing narcissism via Heinz Kohut's self psychology is also discussed.

Chapter Two summarizes the life and work of Heinz Kohut. The chapter discusses basic theoretical and clinical psychology of the self concepts, and describes the special relevance of psychology of the self for pastoral psychotherapy.

Chapter Three discusses selected aspects of Pauline anthropology. The chapter emphasizes the theocentric perspective of Paul's anthropology; summarizes important themes in Paul's view of humanity in relationship to God; and discusses psychoanalytic interpretations of Paul and his concepts.

Chapter Four combines exegetical insights from Pauline texts with basic concepts of Kohutian self psychology to present a five-point correlation between the theological perspectives of Paul and the psychoanalytic perspectives of Kohut.

Chapter Five provides clinical examples of the validity of the proposed correlation. Individual, marital, and group therapy cases are discussed in reference to the five-point correlation. A conclusion assesses the validity of the correlation and makes suggestions for further study.

A Light Shines in the Darkness: Preaching the Logos for an Anxious World

Michael Andrew Meyer D.Min.
The world is experiencing a dramatic increase in the incidence of anxiety; yet, preaching is largely silent. Drawing upon the Psychology of Meaning and the Prologue to the Fourth Gospel, this thesis project developed and tested a preaching methodology to respond to the significant increase in anxiety in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, by addressing the sense of meaninglessness that often causes or aggravates anxiety.

Chapter 1 presents the project’s genesis, its ministerial context, and the magnitude of the problem it seeks to address. An interdisciplinary framework built upon the Psychology of Meaning and Dr. Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy in Chapter 2 lays the groundwork for the highly sacramental christology of meaning rooted in Jesus Christ as Logos that emerges as the project’s theological framework in Chapter 3. These concepts find natural allies in the dialectical and sacramental theological imaginations and the undeniably Scriptural genre of testimony, the project’s homiletic foundations presented in Chapter 4.

A preached retreat, held on November 13, 2021, served as the project’s ministerial intervention and tested its hypothesis before twenty-one adults living in the Diocese of Metuchen who experience anxiety. Chapter 5 discusses the retreat in detail and the qualitative and quantitative data obtained through the insider, outsider, researcher multiple data-collection technique used in the intervention. These data, discussed in Chapter 6, support the hypothesis that preaching meaning in Jesus Christ, the Logos, offers a pastoral response to the significant increase in anxiety by countering the sense of meaninglessness often associated with this condition. They also provide fertile ground for further research and inspire the future uses of the findings and observations that conclude this work.

Developing a Biblical Counseling Ministry at the Sweet Onion Christian Learning Center in Toombs County, Georgia

Gady Earl Youmans D.Ed.Min.

Developing a Biblical Counseling Ministry at the
Sweet Onion Christian Learning Center
in Toombs County, Georgia

This project sought to create a biblical counseling ministry that will equip local churches and believers to engage effectively in biblical counseling with confidence and assurance that God’s Word is authoritative and sufficient for life transformation of those in need of counsel. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of the Sweet Onion Christian Learning Center (SOCLC) and the goal of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of multiple passages of Scripture to demonstrate the necessity and sufficiency of biblical counseling. Chapter 3 presents the historical/practical/theoretical ideas behind counseling, both secular and biblical. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, including the curriculum and methodology utilized to complete this ministry project. Chapter 5 evaluates the efficacy of the project based on completion of the specified goals. Overall, the overarching purpose of this project is to equip believers competently and confidently to counsel those around them for life transformation through the Word of God for the glory of God.

Gady Earl Youmans

Advisor: Jonathan Okinaga, Ph.D.

Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2022


In Gyu Chang
This project is to remind both medicine and Christianity of the urgent need for the reunification of the separated spirituality and medicine in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. This recommendation is based on both scientific research and biblical teachings. Many studies have shown that the majority of patients are suffering from spiritual distress, and this distress is not being properly addressed by medicine or Christianity. According to the scientific studies and the teachings of the Bible, a holistic biopsychosocial spiritual (BPSS) strategy is necessary to best treat patients. There are two approaches to develop a BPSS strategy: (1) short term, which would involve training of all clinicians in addressing spiritual distress, and (2) long term, which would develop pastoral clinicians (PCs) to integrate medicine and spirituality. The latter approach is the focus of my dissertation.

"A Triple C" (Arouse, Control, Convert and Counsel) Model : effect of spiritual resiliency model in curbing suicide in service member's lives

Oyedeji O. Idowu
"The Military has always applied every necessary means available to them to curb the act of committing suicide, and there is still more to be done. . . . This project . . . will aid the military mission and effort to counter the rate of increase in service members' depression, suicide attempts, suicide completions, and any form of spiritually affected challenges. With this mind, I deemed it necessary to apply and implement the controllable ideas on how to help service members with their problems before it gets out of control through what I call AROUSE, CONTROL, CONVERT, CONNECT (ACCC) model. This model is a spiritual resiliency intervention model that can also apply to a non-religious type of setting." -- Leaf [2].

Moral injury : healing intervention for the wounded warrior

Brent D. Culpen
"Moral Injury is a fairly new term [that is] used to describe military personnel who have had their moral conscience compromised. However, the phenomenon appears to have been around for centuries, perhaps since soldiers have gone [off] to war and suffered in [the] aftermath. This study contends that when military chaplains refer individuals with mental issues to behavioral health services, chaplains miss the opportunity to offer much-needed religious guidance for those who suffer. In this study, the author examines how chaplains can help soldiers struggling with moral injury to make steps on the road to healing and recovery." -- Leaf [2].

The Knowledge of God and the Knowledge of Self: Exploring Spiritual Formation via Discernment and the MBTI

Christopher Andrew Walker D.Min.
In this Research Portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation through growing in the knowledge of God and in the knowledge of self. The specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of God is discernment, and the specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of self is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. The Spiritual Autobiography tells the story of the author’s personal journey of spiritual formation through the various revelations about God and self that the Lord has brought to his life. The Model of Spiritual Formation theorizes that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to hear from and know God better through discernment, thus aiding in our spiritual formation. The Research Project tested one aspect of the Model with a small group of congregants from Meadow Brook Church in Leamington, ON, and demonstrated an effective process of discernment for the participants. The conclusion of this Research Portfolio is that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to grow in the knowledge of God, which will aid us in our spiritual formation.

An Integrative Model of Spiritual Formation:
Incorporating Practices from Christian Spirituality and Psychotherapy

Kern Orbin Stanberry D.Min.
This portfolio represents an integrative approach to Christian spiritual formation that refutes the modern Western dualistic mindset. It reclaims the premodern understanding of the unity of truth as revealed through Scripture and creation and, as such, calls for the engagement of practices from both Christian spiritualty and psychotherapy in the process of Christian spiritual formation. Through a rigorous process of personal, spiritual, professional, academic and field research explorations and reflections, the author presents an integrative Christian spiritual formation model and invites Christian leaders and researchers to intentionally include the subjective realities of people’s experiences in their spiritual formational journey.
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