Psychological Science Serving Ministry: A Pilot Project
Fuller Theological Seminary
The primary objective of this project is to create more positive familiarity with psychological science among ministry leaders, primarily Christians. Psychological research can make discoveries relevant to church leaders, but unless these leaders become familiar with these findings and are helped to see their relevance for the Church, they will have only minimal impact. Therefore, this project will create opportunities for learning, communication, and collaboration as a way to engage and empower psychological scientists in their service of ministry leaders. We will encourage psychological scientists to be more intentional about communicating new spiritual information to ministry leaders. We will increase the skills of psychological scientists to write effectively to ministry leaders, and we will create incentives for psychological scientists to engage in service in a local congregation with a collaborating pastor. This project will stimulate interest in and understanding of psychological science among ministry leaders through the following activities: • A workshop to equip psychologists to write more effectively for ministry audiences; • Prizes for published pieces for ministry publications resulting in a wave of publications written by psychologists; • A critical review of articles addressing psychological science published in key ministry journals; • “Psychological Scientist in the Congregation” awards to support collaborative service by psychologists working with pastors in local congregations; • A video of psychological scientists describing, “What I wish my pastor knew about psychology;” • An RFP-style grant proposal to support on-going collaborative program development and/or evaluation in local ministry settings. These activities will be supported by the project team and a ministry consultation group. By the end of this 18 month project, we hope to have laid the groundwork for a closer rapport between Christian ministry leaders and psychologists.