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Although psychology and religion deal with overlapping subject matter, the relationship between psychology and the church has a tumultuous history. The current study examined religious leaders’ attitudes toward integrating psychological science into church ministry. Religious leaders (N = 394) completed measures of (a) congregants’ mental health and social concerns, (b) attitudes toward psychological science (i.e., perceived barriers of integration, compatibility with church ministry), and (c) hypothesized predictors of attitudes toward the integration of psychology and church ministry (i.e., political conservatism, intratextual fundamentalism, religious intellectual humility, emotional intelligence). Overall, religious leaders expressed both positive and negative attitudes toward psychology. Conservative political orientation and intratextual fundamentalism were associated with negative attitudes toward integration, whereas religious intellectual humility and emotional intelligence were associated with positive attitudes. We conclude by discussing limitations, suggestions for future research, and practical applications for psychologists and church leaders.


Originally published in Hodge, A. S., Hook, J. N., Davis, D. E., & McMinn, M. R. (2020). Attitudes of religious leaders toward integrating psychology and church ministry. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 7(1), 18–33.

©American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:

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