Can You be a Mental Health Professional and Still be a Christian?

praying hands

Sep 11, 2019

Written by: Dr. Steve Cappa, Dr. Jennifer Park, Dr. Selin Philip

We respond with a wholehearted yes! Although some may disagree, our thinking aligns with counseling scholars of the Christian faith like Mark McMinn, Clark Campbell, Richard Butman, and Stanton Jones. They state that truth is gained from God’s creation (or general revelation) and revealed through special revelation (or Scripture). In fact, the Bible is God’s revelation to humanity in written form. From both general and special revelation, social science researchers have discovered truths about human beings: how we think and behave, what constitutes personality, the nature of humankind, etc. Through such an investigation, we gain an enhanced understanding of ourselves and how we relate with others. We can accept what psychology has to offer in highlighting aspects of human nature and decreasing destructive behavior while upholding our Christian faith. Therefore, it is possible to integrate psychology/counseling with Christianity within definite boundaries determined by Scripture.

In this integration process, we, the faculty of the Master of Arts in Counseling program at CCU, take a dynamic perspective on counselor education and training. We not only require the integration of counseling theories or models with Christian faith but also encourage its regular practice. The integration of psychology/counseling with the Christian faith can only be more complete by living it every day. Each of us has a choice to seek the truth, find it, and apply that truth to our lives and profession. We then seek to follow the example of Jesus in whom “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The integration of the truth of the Scripture and the truth of God’s creation ought to be fleshed out in our daily lives. We embrace the importance of our personal and spiritual development as equal to professional and clinical development. An excerpt of our program’s mission is, “... Within a Christ-centered community, students integrate a biblical perspective with course content, developing spiritually and professionally to practice wellness and model the compassion of Jesus Christ….” We strive to rely on God as the One who ordains and sustains human sciences, such as psychology/counseling.

We end with this question:

Would you like to join us in this task of “searching out” (Prov. 25:2) what God has shown in the mental and behavioral health sciences?

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