Project Documents

Date of Award

1991

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes

Second Advisor

Luanne Bauer

Third Advisor

Peter Swanson

Abstract

The Topic. Programs in my churches do not seem to be helping members that have ongoing problems. It is important to find ways to resolve problems to help people and thus help prevent their leaving the church.

The Purpose. The purpose of this project was to implement and evaluate a systematic approach to pastoral counseling in the setting of a church district. It also purposed to develop a theology/philosophy of counseling and to adapt a counseling model, using it in working with church members. Positive changes were expected, evidenced by changes from negative behavior patterns. Another goal was to learn how to nurture people in more specific, focused ways.

The Sources. The main sources used in this study were (1) the Bible, read with the purpose of answering three foundational questions: "How did mankind reach its present condition?", "How is that condition maintained?", and "What can be done to facilitate the healing of that condition?" (2) Guidelines to Mental Health by Ellen White, read with the same intentions; (3) The Skilled Helper by Gerard Egan, who was a major contributor to the theology/philosophy of the study and constituted the counseling model adapted for this project; Mental Health and Mental Illness and Reality Therapy by William Glasser, which formed the structure for the foundation of my approach; Client-Centered Therapy, A Way of Being, and On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers, all three of which gave the structure for a climate needed to facilitate healing. Lab I books by John Savage provided the specific skills needed to accomplish the counseling.

The Conclusion. The philosophy/theology formed in this project was useful as a framework. The counseling model was effective in giving direction in counseling. Using the model, I was able to nurture people in more specific ways that helped them through some concerns.

Ultimately neither I nor any other one individual can change people. Each person has the responsibility for his/her own direction. One may come into other's lives as a consultant, but each person must steer his/her own ship under God's guidance.

Subject Area

Pastoral counseling

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