Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type




Director of Thesis

Rhea Merck

First Reader

Cameron Rick

Second Reader

Cameron Rick


The aim of this thesis is to analyze the compatibility of Christian theology and a modern therapeutic process informed by secularism. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that the conceptualization of an active God in the therapeutic process is essential for counselors and clients who adhere to the Christian faith. This conceptualization is either missing or altered by therapeutic processes that operate under the worldview assumptions of secularism. This is what is described as the veiling of God. To explore this issue, a four-tiered analytical approach has been invoked. First, a brief history of secularism and its major ethical and philosophical assumptions are examined in regard to their influence on secular psychology and psychotherapy. Next, the major theological presuppositions and understandings of human nature and human flourishing presented within Christianity are compared to those of secular psychotherapy. Then, the treatment of God within secular therapeutic frameworks is analyzed and reframed according to the underlying assumptions of those methods and techniques. Finally, attention is given to the developments and frameworks of pastoral counseling, biblical counseling, and integrationism in American Christianity. In conclusion, the analysis demonstrates that underlying assumptions and presuppositions are crucial to the formulation of therapeutic methods, techniques, and outcomes. Psychological and psychotherapeutic insights can be safely and usefully incorporated within appropriate theological frameworks as long as the secular worldview assumptions that underpin them are replaced by or subservient to those of the Christian worldview. This allows God’s activity and influence to be acknowledged and brought fully into the therapeutic encounter.

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© 2020, Kelvin Jamaal Mack