Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation
Theology & Secular Psychology — a CCEF Course

Theology & Secular Psychology — a CCEF Course

Course Description

The modern psychologies provide the lenses through which most people view life’s problems. They shape how people interpret troubling behaviors, emotions, and relationships—so that sin is never part of what goes wrong with us. They shape the solutions offered—so that Christ plays no necessary part in addressing what is going on. Through practical assignments, group discussion, lectures and assigned readings, you’ll develop skills to lovingly and wisely engage the ways others seek to understand and solve personal problems. You’ll develop your ability to reinterpret what they see most clearly and care about most deeply. This class will help you to understand where biblical counseling fits both within the church and in relation to the surrounding mental health system.

About the Professors

david powlisonDavid Powlison, M.Div., Ph.D. serves as CCEF’s executive director, as a faculty member, and as senior editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He has served at CCEF for more than 35 years. He holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. David has written extensively on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books Seeing with New Eyes and Speaking Truth in Love probe the implications of Scripture for how to understand people and how to counsel. The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context explores the background and development of CCEF’s mission. David’s new book titled: Good and Angry: Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness (New Growth Press), launched in September 2016. David and Nan dearly love their three children, and the three spouses and five grandchildren who have joined the family.

Todd StrydTodd Stryd is a faculty member at CCEF and the counseling coordinator. He has served for more than ten years. He holds a PsyD from Immaculata University and an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary. His dissertation work explored the relationship between a reformed Christian narrative and the experience of schizophrenia. He has experience as a hospital chaplain, crisis worker, and university counselor. Todd is married with three children. He considers himself a coffee connoisseur and fills his off days with reading Winnie the Pooh and making Lego creations.


Theology & Secular Psychology is a 3-credit course. The credit cost of the course is $650.00. Taken for audit it is $325.00. Theology & Secular Psychology is offered every other semester on a rotating basis between spring, summer and fall.

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Course Introductions
  • Week 2: Developing Your Reinterpretive Skills
  • Week 3: Pastoral Care in the History of the Church
  • Week 4: Reinterpretative Skills
  • Week 5: Psychological Research
  • Week 6: Sigmund Freud
  • Week 7: Behavior and Cognitive-Behavior Therapies
  • Week 8: Psychotherapy
  • Week 9: Christian Psychology
  • Week 10: Engaging Secular Psychological Culture
  • Week 11: Engaging Evangelical Psychotherapy
  • Week 12: Engaging the Biblical Counseling Movement
  • Week 13: What Does the Future Hold for Biblical Counseling?

Required Textbooks

Students must purchase separately, any other required reading is provided with course access.

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