Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Shawna Lafreniere, PhD

Second Advisor

Jenny Song, PhD


Addictions have penetrated all segments of society, including the Church. The problems addicts face is complicated, complex, and challenging for the church and ministry practitioners. Alongside the rising rate of addiction, society’s shame-awareness has also risen. This is not coincidental or unimportant. While addictive behavior seeks bonding, shame resists bonding. It is the contrary and paradoxical nature of this problem that makes it confusing, mysterious, and perplexing.

Yet there is hope. When shame is addressed with the good news of the Gospel, addiction will lose its grasp and new recovery solutions will arise. This dissertation suggests that the inability to recognize the connection between shame and addiction prevents progress toward healing of all kinds. The relationship between shame and addiction is a complex relationship that I believe shame can be healed through the transformative power of the gospel.

This dissertation will offer a clear explanation of shame and addiction’s current definitions, cultural and church understandings, and treatment solutions for shame and addiction. It engages Scripture, theology, ancient writings, psychology, and practices, while considering how the gospel frees people from shame and addiction. To facilitate the church with this relationship a new curriculum, “Me? An Addict?” Good News for Addiction and Shame has been created. The goal is to equip the church and faith-based organizations to effectively engage the complex relationship between shame and addiction. There is hope for humanity’s experience of addiction and shame. The gospel invites all to find new ways of living in which the healing of shame and addiction are experienced.

Included in

Christianity Commons