Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity


Theological Seminary


Master of Divinity, MDiv: Christian Ministry

First Advisor

Roger L. Dudley


Problem The self-esteem variable is often used as an evaluative criterion in the assessment of the functionality of particular Christian doctrines. High self-esteem is assumed to be the optimal level of selffunctioning, and specific doctrines are evaluated according to this standard. Purpose It was the purpose of this study to examine the relationship between specific Christian doctrines and the self-esteem variable. Method The self-esteem variable was defined from selected psychological and theological literature. The literature was selected on the basis of two main criteria; a phenomenological approach and an identification of the self-esteem variable in terms of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-esteem. The selfesteem variable is examined in relationship to four major Christian doctrines: human nature, God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Conclusions The assumption that high self-esteem is the optimal level of self-functioning is largely unsupported and highly tenuous. The major Christian doctrines examined provide a significant resource base for healthy self-esteem. These doctrines also provide a framework in which the cognitive-emotive inaccuracies of high and low self-esteem can be remediated.

Subject Area

Self-respect--Religious aspects--Christianity.