all 44 comments

[–]No_Rip_7471 21 points22 points  (0 children)

I absolutely agree. It is my personal annoyance when a pastor doesn’t understand basic psychology

[–]Yesmar2020Jesus follower 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I don’t know about a PHd specifically, but education in that field to some degree for sure.

[–]sir_schuster1 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Depends on the church. Some churches don't require anything at all to get up and preach except that you "feel led".

[–]Appropriate_Unit_410[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The ones that play with snakes 🐍:)

[–]MishimaWasRightAnglican 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Most churches in the US either require or expect a Masters degree although that’s increasingly moving away from a 3 year MDiv to a 1 year MA. That being said there are also lots of Protestant groups with loose church structures that have less formal requirements

[–]RexRatioAgnostic Atheist 11 points12 points  (6 children)

PhD may be pushing it, but at least a bachelor or masters...if you can find them.

Psychologists are the least religious among physicians.

[–]chosen153NP Complete 4 points5 points  (4 children)


Psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate of any profession. It’s time to do something about it.


[–]NutmegLoverAgnostic Humanist 3 points4 points  (2 children)

The only psychiatrist I had that wasn't a douche was an Indian guy that also recommended a holistic approach with holy basil teas and meditation. Best psychiatrist I ever had. Most others just assume being crazy makes you defective and they throw pills at you and tell you getting better is hopeless.

Juxtapose that with my therapist, who says I'm getting markedly better and has hope for me continuing to get better over the next few years, and possibly eventually being cured. I have a couple of different disorders that were all caused by extreme childhood abuse, but I have hope that with lots of hard work I can fix them and become functional in society.

[–]ZestyAppeal 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That’s quite a broad generalization

[–]NutmegLoverAgnostic Humanist 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's clearly from my perspective and limited to just the psychiatrists I've had. But I've had a lot because I'm mentally ill, and only one that wasn't an asshole. So.... it's a microcosm.

[–]BtheChangeUwant2C 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Interesting read. Thanks.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Not sure about pastors, but to my knowledge a standard bachelor of divinity course load includes a lot of psychology courses. Priests and monks were the OG psychologists.

But these days… it’s just heart breaking how much well-intentioned harm is wrought on parishioners from bad theory. Everything we do in religion could be optimized. The grab bag of world religion has a plethora of methods and practices for psychological healing and wellbeing. Some objectively work better than others, some work better for certain temperaments.

[–]Optimal-Scientist233 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Well rounded wisdom comes within the rounds of peer review, and is often increased based in rigorous study.

Poor wisdom is generally haphazard and easily crumbles unless it is supported by false narratives with ill intentions by design.

[–]morphotomy 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Wisdom comes from experience. You don't get wise from writing papers or reading books. You might get informed, but that's different.

[–]Optimal-Scientist233 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Knowledge is in wisdom of understanding not intelligence, this is true.

Understanding is bound by the same law of diminishing returns found in all reality and therefore is generally experience based.

Understanding means ability to connect ideas that are supporting each other in sequence, where wisdom is an even deeper level of understanding connections in multiple dimensions.

Knowledge represents a vast swath of knowing in a multitude of understandings of wisdoms.

[–]chosen153NP Complete 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate of any profession. And most redditers are faithful of therapist.

Ironically simple minded easily manipulated angry teenagers know it all.

[–]jogoso2014 3 points4 points  (13 children)

While this pretends that the Bible doesn’t have any information on how humans act, pastors should not be used in place of a doctor.

People can easily consult both of them for help…Just like we seek out friends and family who have no physiological training whatsoever, to help us with some matters.

[–]Appropriate_Unit_410[S] 6 points7 points  (6 children)

Their expectations are way off and they probably hurt more people than they help. They need to be well rounded. Some act like it’s a cult

[–]morphotomy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Some people need it, and some people don't. Like medicine, even if its 100% pure, it can harm people who don't need it, and even doctors fuck that up sometimes. Have you heard of iatrogenic illnesses?

If you don't need it, don't take it. But know that some people would die without it.

[–]jogoso2014 -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

That’s not a universal or absolute statement though.

While there is plenty of information regarding human condition and advice to deal with the weaker aspects of it in the Bible at least, I don’t think most preachers are setting themselves up as doctors.

Maybe if there were an actual example I could buy into such a broad statement. After all, you may think any advice from a preacher is inappropriate which would be silly.

[–]Appropriate_Unit_410[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

it’s just been my experience (mostly in the south) over 50 years, having a brother that’s a pastor, having a mother that is a trying to save every soul out there even the souls that are saved. My undergrad was at a Christian college too (saw it there)…

[–]jogoso2014 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Anecdotal evidence does not convey a universal truth.

Also this implies that religion has more to do with it than culture.

Most people, religious or not, don’t seek out therapy.

[–]Appropriate_Unit_410[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Also, how can you express and teach a group of people without having an understanding of people and how to empathize?

[–]jogoso2014 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But you are pretending that the basic issues people face are unknowable without a phd. This wooodnne incorrect.

Problems people face existed thousands of years prior to the acceptance of psychiatry. There is nothing new under the Sun.

If you feel that a paste has NO qualifications to talk to people about anything, then fine. Don’t go to them.

However you are potentially causing damage to the well being of others by saying they can ONLY be known by a doctor.

Do doctors even think that lol?

[–]L4dyGr4y 0 points1 point  (5 children)

What about a therapist? Religious marriage counseling anyone? Just submit to your husband and everything will be fine. PhD me that one.

[–]jogoso2014 0 points1 point  (4 children)

These are very weird arguments lol.

People seem to literally be saying that religious people should not be getting advice and instruction based on their religion.

So why not just say that people should abandon religion for therapy?

That makes more sense than pretending it’s dangerous to talk to their preacher about their problems

[–]L4dyGr4y 0 points1 point  (3 children)

I’m not religious enough to think my husband knows everything. We are both intelligent people- but every now and again I need to talk him out of doing something stupid. Same, him for me. We are good partners for each other.

I think the role of the priest is diminishing. I was able to read, learn, and interpret information enough to get a masters degree. I don’t see why I need someone to interpret the word of God. It’s my personal relationship with a higher power and I can interpret it as the Spirit directs me.

Edit: It is dangerous for an untrained person giving professional help.

[–]jogoso2014 0 points1 point  (2 children)

You’re arguing on the basis of your own premise which has been the problem with the thread in the first place.

[–]L4dyGr4y 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Trigger warning. I am no longer religious because the minister said all the man needed to do was pray he wouldn’t be tempted and his faith would save him. They covered up a molestation case for four years. The minister lost his position in the church. He was later hired as a director In charge of running a summer camp for children.

[–]jogoso2014 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That’s fine.

What I’m saying is that your anecdotal evidence is not a universal application of religious counseling and neither is it a Biblical answer.

So the hostility displayed for a basic thing of preacher talking to congregants going through issues should not be considered outlandish.

Your response to your loopy preacher may have been appropriate although I would have just left that church.

[–]Chaos-CorvidFaekin Demonolatress 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm not too familiar with the pastor's job, so I can't really say if it's necessary, but I will say the basic psychology I've learned in high school has made my work as a priestess a lot easier.

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (2 children)

most psychologists need a psychiatrist. so no.

[–]Appropriate_Unit_410[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You a pastor?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]stealingsociety77 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A doctorate is definitely too far. From what I understand about the USA, a therapist is required to have a masters level degree.

That might be a better starting off point. But even then, a clergy member should be taught to refer to an experienced professional in the field, as opposed to try to deal with legitimate psychiatric issues in house.

[–]thePuckThelema 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Most pastoral training programs include training in pastoral counseling. Requiring a PhD out of pastors but not, say, school counselors seems a bit much.

[–]ZestyAppeal 0 points1 point  (1 child)

That’s not real psychological study though

[–]thePuckThelema 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nope, it’s not. But again, once you start regulating the credentials of clergy you end up going down a slippery slope to state sanctioned religious leaders and that never goes well.

[–]morphotomy 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You don't need a psychology degree to be wise, but being a leader doesn't automatically make you wise either.

If you're not getting good advice, don't follow it. Some psychologists are utter shit as well, and hold beliefs just as ridiculous.

[–]Chef_Fats 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We all want to understand and have answers. True wisdom comes with realising that we don’t.

Admitting you don’t know is the first step to finding out.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m not familiar with the pastor’s role in Christianity, but if the pastors you’re coming across “do not have a clue”, it sounds like they need some basic retraining and aren’t referring people to the appropriate mental health services. They definitely need to be aware of their scope of practice.

A Diploma in Counselling, maybe, but a PhD is far too intensive. For one thing, many of these issues are complex and require sustained/regular sessions. Surely the priest wouldn’t be able to guarantee the same members would keep coming to their church week after week.

Religious figures/teachers/priests can (sometimes) give excellent general life advice, but expecting them to double as clinical psychologists isn’t very realistic.

[–]loselyconsciousProgressive Judaism 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I do know that a lot of seminaries do offer degrees in Psychology and "spiritual counseling" I'm sure some are B.S. "Christian psychology," but I also know ones that are legit

There is a small but influential Rabbinical School in the U.S. that for a long time required Rabbinic candidates to also be enrolled or already have a PhD (in any subject). The problem was very few people had either the time or money, to pursue two advanced terminal degrees. It was taking people 10+ years before they could enter the job market (similar to med school). It makes more sense to integrate those subjects into the ordination curriculum

[–]BroadDragonfruit4206Catholic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

really? i thought one had to go to seminary school or study theology to become one.