Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
African-American, Counseling, Racism
Christianity | Religion
Richardson, LaSonja Chanta, "Pastoral Counseling and the African American Churches of Metro Atlanta: Breaking the Stigma Associated With Asking for Help" (2019). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2217.
A stigma exists in the African American Christian community that seeking counseling services displays a lack of faith and therefore is unspiritual; however, as a new generation emerges with more liberal views on counseling and the role of the church, an opportunity to define pastoral counseling as an acceptable practice is emerging. The current lack of pastoral counseling in the African American church is negatively affecting the spiritual health of the church but offering counseling services will increase spiritual maturity. African American churches must re-evaluate their stance on pastoral counseling and begin to emphasize pastoral counseling as not only acceptable, but also a healthy practice.