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Racial disunity is a major challenge facing the Christian church. This article examines psychological factors that contribute to and maintain both racial disunity and racial unity through the lens of the Interpersonal Process in Therapy model (Sullivan, 1968; Teyber & Teyber, 2017). It looks at how early interpersonal relationships in childhood influence interpersonal relationships as adults and how the therapeutic relationship as a healing influence can be applied to racial healing as adults. Spiritual factors that contribute to and maintain racial disunity and racial unity are also discussed. Understanding that it is the relationship that heals, specific strategies such as understanding the impact of racism, lament, confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation are presented (Morrison, 2019; Tisby, 2021). The hope is that we will be able to achieve racial healing in the church and that we will understand and realize that we can heal the racial divide in the church and other Christian institutions.


Copyright 2023, Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Originally published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity. Volume 42, Issue 2.

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