Publication Date


Document Type



Published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity 2009, Vol. 28, No. 2, 130-140.


Paraprofessional counseling has received empirical evidence of its effectiveness, yet the status of lay Christian counseling models remains unknown. The authors review the current research on such approaches. A few models evidence practitioner surveys, client satisfaction research, quasi-experimental studies, or outcomes- based case studies. One eclectic approach had a randomized waiting list control group study. Preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of Freedom in Christ (the Neil Anderson approach) and Theophostic Prayer Ministry was noted. In all studies reviewed, the authors identified methodological limitations; therefore, the broad need for well-designed efficacy and effectiveness research on every model is clear. With current data, we cannot say definitively that lay Christian counseling works. Consequently, the authors make recommendations on potential improved research designs and encourage further investigations.