Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

William Valmyr, PhD, DMin

Second Advisor

Kenneth Sullivan, DMin


A fundamental problem for African Americans is the underuse of mental health services, leaving mental health needs unmet. Many African Americans have already been subjected to enough stigmatization to the point they refuse to open themselves up to further ridicule and do not acknowledge mental health problems as medical. As a culture, African Americans continue to be distrustful of Caucasians, who fill most roles in the mental health field. 1 The researcher found cultural mistrust was the most consistent and powerful predictor of help-seeking attitudes.

This research explores the reasoning behind why those in African American communities are reluctant to enter therapy, specifically resistant African American Christians. The theory that African American Christians see therapy as a rejection of their faith in God and, instead, turn to the power of prayer will be examined. While the number of African Americans who enter therapy continues to rise, persistent stigmas make therapy a taboo option for solving problems.

There is resistance to therapeutic methods within certain frameworks of Christianity due to the biased influence of North American evangelicals and Christians’ mindsets because of the oversimplification of prayer and faith. So then, how does therapy impact African American Christianity? Is there theological and biblical support for Christians seeking therapy?

Section 1 of the dissertation addresses and explains the problem. Section 2 proposes solutions. Section 3 includes research data. Section 4 introduces the Artifact, while Section 5 details what will be included in the proposed Artifact, and in Section 6, the researcher details the time spent in developing the Artifact, and future research possibilities.

Included in

Christianity Commons