The first aspect of this guide is a resource that provides a basic understanding of mental health from both psychological and spiritual perspectives. It offers readers a deep understanding of the value of both perspectives and shows how they work together for the care of souls. Also included are guidelines to help the congregational community become a center for wellness. Christian Concepts for Care gives readers a unique understanding of the spiritual basis to mental health and to the development of mental and emotional disorders.
The second aspect of this book is a detailed guide of mental and emotional disorders. It offers explanations on how one can work with such disorders in a healing community, on when referrals should be made to professionals, and on how pastors and congregations can work in positive ways to support members during and after treatment. This book equips pastors and congregations to become a part of the member’s wellness.
While Christian Concepts for Care offers descriptions of mental health issues and disorders, it is not of a textbook on various illnesses and clinical prognoses. Rather, it is a unique resource that shows the spiritual nature of these disorders. As a result, readers gain a new perspective that gives hope and a practical way to apply faith.
Christian Concepts for Care engages pastors, parish nurses, and professional church workers who are called upon to offer care and counseling, as well as lay congregational leaders who support the “professional” staff of the congregation. It equips workers (and those preparing to work in these fields) with the tools they need not only to better understand mental and emotional disorders but also to offer effective spiritual care.
Provides basic understanding of mental health from both a psychological and spiritual perspective.
Gives valuable insight into the development of mental and emotional disorders.
Shows how psychology and spiritual perspectives can work together for the care of souls.
Supports pastoral care as an essential part of supporting members with mental and emotional disorders.
Offers strategies for referral to mental health professionals in the community.
Assists pastors and church professionals in understanding the role of pastoral care and congregational support in the care and life of those with mental and emotional disorders.
About the Authors
David J. Ludwig combined a background in both theology and psychology by earning his MDiv from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, in 1965 and a PhD from Washington University in 1966. His creative blending of these two disciplines has spanned over 45 years as a university professor, a licensed psychologist, and Lutheran (LCMS) minister. During this time Dr. Ludwig has written several books and numerous professional articles while speaking internationally on the spiritual growth of relationships within oneself, family, and church. Dr. Ludwig currently serves as a semi-retired professor of psychology, teaching courses in personality and clinical psychology at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina, and as assistant to the pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in Hickory. He maintains a private practice as a licensed therapist.
Mary Runge Jacob served at Lutheran Counseling Services, Inc., in Winter Park, Florida, for more than twenty-five years as a therapist providing individual, marital, family, and group counseling as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. She previously engaged in private practice, and has taught psychiatric nursing at The Medical College of Georgia, University of South Carolina, and University of Central Florida. Mary completed parish nurse preparation in 1999 and has consulted with parish nurses on mental health issues throughout Central Florida. She completed three-year spiritual formation/spiritual direction training in 2007 and has since provided spiritual direction to individuals. She has consulted with congregational health ministries throughout Florida and provides workshops and training on a variety of mental health topics.