Theological Perspectives on Mental Health



Online recordings

Level 6, Level 7, Level 8

To take this unit at level 9, speak to the Academic Dean.


David Powlison (lecturer), Karl Hood (tutor)

Is this unit for you?

This unit contributes to enhancing your professional and vocational formation by developing understanding of the theory and approaches to biblical counselling with special reference to the pastoral ministry to people who manifest symptoms of physiological disorders. 

What you will learn

You will look at various approaches and theoretical issues surrounding the understanding of mental health, including the history of pastoral counselling, model building in counselling, an approach to analysis and critical evaluation of counselling models, primary source readings in Christian and secular counselling, and future directions for biblical pastoral counselling.

Unit content

  1. Approaches to mental health throughout the history of the church
  2. Theological anthropology and its implications for mental health
  3. Sin, personal responsibility, and mental health
  4. Cultural impacts upon theologies of mental health
  5. The role of the demonic in mental health concerns
  6. The impact and consequences of poorly conceived theologies of mental health
  7. Mental health concerns and issues of suffering and theodicy
  8. Theological implications for diagnosis and treatment of mental ill-health
  9. Mental health and the church
  10. Eschatology and hope in relation to mental health concerns.


  • Online recordings
  • Essays and assignments


  • E. L. Johnson (ed.), Psychology and Christianity: Five Views, 2nd edn (Downers Grove: IVP, 2010).
  • David A. Powlison, The Biblical Counselling Movement (Greensboro: New Growth Press, 2010).


God’s wisdom for abundant living in Christ

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