We are a network of Christians committed to promoting Christ-centered soul care and developing a distinctly Christian psychology based on the resources available in the Bible, the Christian traditions, and good science.
To develop a distinctly Christian psychology, that starts with its own rich resources; while availing ourselves of the best research, theory, and practice in contemporary psychology, interpreted according to a Christian worldview
To build up Christians and churches through education and training in the therapeutic resources of the Christian faith, at the highest spiritual, professional, and academic levels
To facilitate and fund distinctly Christian psychology research
To bring Christians together with different callings (counselors, pastors, psychiatrists, researchers), from different cultural locations (churches, public mental health, counseling clinics, academia), disciplines (counseling, psychiatry, psychology, theology, and philosophy), perspectives (biblical counseling, spiritual formation, integration), and traditions (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox)
We believe that Christianity has the resources in the Bible, and Christian theology, philosophy, and spirituality to develop distinctive versions of psychology, psychiatry, and counseling.
We also believe that these versions have to be enriched by the best research, theory, and practices of contemporary psychology, psychiatry, and counseling. However, the versions that dominate these disciplines today are fundamentally secular and based on the worldview of naturalism. From a Christian standpoint, this has led to significant distortions -- not in every area equally, but especially in those areas that are more worldview-dependent. Most problematic for Christians is what is left out of these disciplines, like the role of God in daily life and the healing available through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, and notions like the image of God, sin, redemption, and faith. Such knowledge and experience are patently psychological, and it is the responsibility of the Christian community to retrieve and develop its considerable resources to construct in the 21st century its own versions of psychology, psychiatry, and counseling to compensate for the deficiencies of the current versions.
Over the past half century, a revolution has occurred in Christian philosophy -- led by folks like Alvin Plantinga, C. Stephen Evans, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Charles Taylor -- that should encourage Christian psychologists, psychiatrist, and counselors to think more independently of their secular colleagues and take more seriously the implications of their own worldview assumptions in their disciplines. With God’s help, this could lead to a revolution in these latter disciplines as well.
During this same time, a number of Christian theologians have been developing a public theology, that is, theology written for the public square -- folks like Oliver O’Donovan, Stanley Hauerwas, Pope Benedict XVI, Russell Moore, and John Milbank -- that can help Christian psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors reconceptualize their role in public mental health in a post-Christian culture.
The Institute for Christian Psychology wants to contribute to these developments.