Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Second Advisor

Selma A. Chaij

Third Advisor

Robert J. Cruise


Problem. No studies have been found that examine empirically the possible relationship between temperament and spiritual gifts. Traditionally they have been seen as offspring of discrete disciplines, the former belonging to the realm of psychology and the latter to theology. When some writers recently hypothesized a possible correlation between temperament and spiritual gifts, others discredited the notion.

This study was undertaken to investigate the possible correlation between the traditional four temperament types and a selection of nineteen spiritual gifts of the New Testament.

Method. The data base for this study consisted of 1,067 Christian graduate students and church members from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Kansas. Subjects were of both sexes and included Blacks, Caucasians, and Hispanics. Two standardized instruments were administered: Temperament Inventory (Cruise & Blitchington,1977) and The Spiritual Gifts Inventory (Naden & Cruise, 1981). Seven null hypotheses were formulated and tested.

Results. The findings suggest that there is a correlation between the four temperament types and spiritual gifts of the New Testament. However, some gifts did not appear in any correlation, e.g., the gift of Martyrdom. This may be because or the size of the components of the sample.

In the case of Caucasians, the relationships are similar for both sexes. The samples for the other two ethnic groups were too small for a comparison of sexes within and between the groups.

One notable difference among the Hispanic subject lies in the fact that there was no correlation between the gift of administration and any temperament. This absence may be attributed to the reduced size or the quality of this sample.

The relationships found could be summarized as follows: (UNFORMATTED TABLE FOLLOWS)


Gift Sanguine Choleric Melancholic Phlegmatic

Primary Administration Leadership Evangelism WisdomSecondary Leadership WisdomTertiary Hospitality Helps (TABLE ENDS)

(1) There is a significant correlation between the sanguine tem- perament and the gifts of administration, leadership, and hospitality. (2) There is a significant correlation between the choleric tempera- ment and the gifts of leadership, wisdom, and helps. (3) There is a correlation between the melancholic temperament and the gift of evangelism. (4) There is a correlation between the phlegmatic temperament and the gift of wisdom. (5) Not all the gifts appear in the correlation with the four temperaments.

Subject Area

Temperament, Gifts, Spiritual


Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."