Counseling Department


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


John Thomas

Primary Subject Area

Theology; Psychology, General; Religion, General; Religion, Clergy


Depression, Pastors, Referral


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Counseling Psychology | Practical Theology | Psychology | Religion


The purpose of this study was to investigate the willingness and ability of Conservative Holiness pastors to assess depression and their willingness to refer to mental health professionals. Eighty-six pastors completed a four-part survey that measured diagnostic accuracy, willingness to refer, attitudes toward mental health, perceived competency to assist, recognition of need for help and confidence in mental health professionals. Demographic characteristics and case study responses were investigated through analysis of frequency data; relationships with demographic variables were analyzed using Spearman's rho and independent t-tests; relationships with variables derived from the scales were analyzed using Pearson Product-Moment Correlation. Analyses found that Conservative Holiness Pastors are willing and able to assess depression and are willing to refer to mental health professionals. Willingness to refer was associated with positive attitudes toward mental health.