If the question is asking about the intersection of theology and psychology, would it best be asked here or on CS.SE? For instance, let's suppose I asked this question:

Do any existing pastoral counseling programs take into effect how the theological framework concerning the doctrine of free will affects the counselor's therapeutic approach? For instance, an institution that gravitates towards theological determinism (such as Calvinism in the Christian tradition) might be more likely to adopt an approach based on radical behaviorism such as CBA (e.g. ACT, which has an underlying worldview of functional contextualism; or functional analytic psychotherapy), while an institution that leans towards theological indeterminism/libertarianism (such as Pelagianism or Arminianism in the Christian tradition) might feel more comfortable with standard CBT approaches.

From my experience, most pastoral counseling programs seem to teach some form of CBT without considering how the underlying worldview of the therapeutic approach conflicts (or agrees) with the theological ideologies of the institution and thus might create unintended counter-transference. Has anyone dealt with this in scholarly publications or studies? Do any institutions who teach pastoral counseling directly address this issue?

Question now asked: Has the impact of a practitioner's theological framework on pastoral counseling methodology been studied?

  • 1
    FYI, Dan Allender and Jay Adams would be the people to talk about in such an answer. Sadly, I'm not sure where it belongs though? Apr 12, 2013 at 21:06
  • @AffableGeek no problem, I appreciate the referral. I'm not sure how I'd even go about trying to contact specific members on this site other than just "seeing them around," though.
    – Dan
    Apr 12, 2013 at 21:11
  • Sorry - those guys are the ones I would call the leaders in the field. You can google them. They aren't users :) Apr 12, 2013 at 21:24
  • @AffableGeek ahh gotcha. Thanks.
    – Dan
    Apr 12, 2013 at 21:26
  • @AffableGeek I just saw that Adams is the nouthetic guy. I'll save my thoughts on that method for a rainy day (Thumper approach) :P
    – Dan
    Apr 12, 2013 at 21:27
  • 1
    Hey - I gave you Allender too! But, yeah. Apr 12, 2013 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


After some thinking about this, I would argue that this question should be on topic, but would probably be considered off topic by many in the community.

There seems to be this idea that Christianity.SE is understood to be "Christian Doctrine".SE, and not "Christian Practice". I have tried to get clarification around this on meta before Broaden scope to include Church management? but I'm not sure it ever got any traction.

Personally, I'd love to see this question, and would vote it up.

  • It should be included since the powers that be shut down those other proposals in favor of this one.
    – Peter Turner Mod
    Apr 15, 2013 at 3:30

In reading your sample question, I was already reaching for the +1 and the star to come back and check for answers. It's relevant to Christianity, demanding of expertise, carries a specific scope by which answers can be judged both on correctness and usefulness, and in all other ways seem to fit our existing criteria.

I fear since we haven't handled very many in this genre in the past it might get a bumpy reception. Also I can see it took a good deal of thought and background knowledge just to compose a good question of this sort. However these are problems that can be overcome.

I say lets have at it!

Edit: Here it is: Has the impact of a practitioner's theological framework on pastoral counseling methodology been studied?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .