Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Karen Claassen, DMin
David McDonald, DMin
This dissertation aims to consider whether Jesus followers in North America could begin to adopt entheogens as items of sacramental worship.
Section One will describe the opportunity on the horizon for the institutional church in North America.
Section Two will focus on alternative readings of biblical texts and look at the basis of convictions about entheogenic use. By looking at the history of entheogens around the world, I attempt to show that entheogenic use is not a new trend to adopt, but part of religious history.
Additionally, I will present a proposed path forward on culture-wide adoption of entheogens.
Section Three will consider the potential of entheogens as sacramental objects. I will use my semiotic training to to re-sign the concept of “sacrament” by focusing on sacraments throughout Christian history and present a larger scope of what could define sacramental.
Section Four will describe what an entheogenic spiritual retreat would look like. Since sharing my experience, many have approached me to lead them through a similar experience. In this section, I will suggest what that environment and setting might look like.
Section Five will include the mechanics of hosting an entheogenic retreat. This section will feel highly pragmatic as I delve into the artifact’s schedule, budget, purpose, form, and function.
Section Six will share what I have learned throughout the process, will note problems that have come to light through the process, and will offer helpful suggestions for the future of research and conversation in this area.
The evangelical church in North America has often shown up late to culturally relevant conversations. For there to be beauty that grows from the rubble of a post- Christian church, it will be of importance for the church to provide a Christ-following analysis of whatever new topic might be on the horizon.
Hollensbe, Heath, "From Recreational to Sacramental: Observing Past Entheogenic Practices and Considering Their Potential Application in the Future of Christianity" (2021). Doctor of Ministry. 415.