Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Pastoral counseling, in its present condition, is dominated ''almost exclusively by therapeutic psychology, principally by Rogerian counseling" (Aden, 1984, p. 38). Depending on one's perspective, such a charge is either a sign of hope or an omen of doom. Gaylord B. Noyce, professor of pastoral theology at the Yale University divinity school sees it as the latter. He charges that an "exaggerated deference" to the client-centered theory and methodology of Carl Rogers is "undermining the ministry in hundreds of congregations today." "We have taken the immensely helpful, nondirective Rogerian pattern and made it gospel, not only for wide areas of secular counseling but also for pastoral care" (1978, p. 103). The entire humanistic-experiential model, attributed to the influence of Rogers, Maslow, Perls and Berne, has been attacked by others (Fatis, 1979; Miller, 1977). On the other hand, Oden (1966) compares the Rogerian themes of empathy and unconditional positive regard with the biblical doctrine of love and has come to regard Rogers' work as an operational demonstration of the unconditional divine love which is the heart of the Christian gospel.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

William Kline


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