Date of Award

Winter 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


This theoretical study was done to promote additional research in mentoring, A great deal has been written about mentoring relationships and research has built a strong case for their value across a wide variety of settings. Mentoring is a centuries old practice in which younger or more inexperienced individuals are trained in a relational context by a more experienced, usually older individual. In more recent times mentoring has been most prominent in academic and business settings. Most often, mentoring takes the form of an unstructured relationship but many businesses and some universities have developed formal mentoring programs. The mentoring research is reviewed and the value of the relationship to both mentors and their proteges is detailed. As with any relationship though, there is potential for psychological abuse or damage in a mentoring relationship. The literature clearly identifies potential abuse implying but not explicitly presenting a principled approach to the relationship. Management/leadership literature is briefly reviewed to demonstrate that in contrast to the mentoring literature there is an explicit emphasis on the character of the leader or manager. As a unique feature of this project, the spiritual direction literature is reviewed as a special type of mentoring relationship. This body of material lends a unique contribution to the discussion of mentoring foundations and practices. The spiritual mentor requires an undergirding character that honors, encourages and cares deeply for those that are to be served through mentoring. These relational core values correspond to the biblical virtues of faith, hope and love. Finally, a model entitled Principled Mentoring is presented that attempts to demonstrate how the mentoring process works when guided by core values held firmly by the mentor and demonstrated through consistent behavior. A Principled Mentor is identified as one who has formed the values of integrity, courage, and care within his or her character. Recommendations are made for continued research into the importance of foundational core values to positive mentoring outcomes.

Included in

Psychology Commons