Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Stuart Cocanougher, DMin

Second Advisor

Winford Amos, DMin


Within the church, congregants who claim to be oppressed by demonic spirits seek prayer to be set free from their influence. In ministries where this type of prayer is available, ministers report that while the prayers provide relief, relief is often temporary. Consequently, these members continue to seek prayer for deliverance. In these situations, do clergy who provide this spiritual intervention realize that the congregate may have an underlying mental health issue?

Research shows the opinions of pastors regarding the etiology of mental illness; on one end demonic spirits are viewed as the culprit for mental disturbance, while the other end attributes mental illness to biological causes.3 Mental health professionals treat mental illness with evidence-based interventions; however, some report encountering demonic spirits when in sessions with clients. Both professions have had success in providing relief to individuals; however, due to philosophical differences, a rivalry between religion and psychology has impeded interdisciplinary dialogue. This dissertation promotes the need for interdisciplinary dialogue to examine the current praxis of the church regarding comprehensive care for congregants who suffer from demonic oppression and mental illness.

Section one of the dissertation focuses on the ministry of Jesus, which includes healing and exorcism. Section two examines alternative views of treating mental illness and demonic oppression. These conflicting views have hindered interdisciplinary dialogue. Section three presents the thesis statement.

Section four describes my artifact, Let Us Reason Together: Promoting Interdisciplinary Collaboration between Clergy and Mental Health Professionals Regarding Demonic Oppression and Mental Illness. Section five presents the specifications of the artifact. Section six presents the postscript and conclusion.

Included in

Christianity Commons