School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
suicide, hopelessness, depression, voice commands, spiritual battle, pastoral counseling, hope
Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Averitt, Debra Kay, "Who Cares? Suicide and Christian Pastoral Intervention" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4048.
The fallen world we live in presents challenges that often seem too much to bear. How we view those challenges depends not only on our worldview but also on our interpretation of it. These same beliefs help determine if, when, and to whom we go for help. Beliefs and worldviews also drive those who provide help, making the decision of who to see that much more important. This study addresses the dispute between pastoral and secular counseling—Who is better prepared to treat individuals presenting with severe distress? In essence, this quantitative survey is a letter to the churches asking pastors to reflect on their own experiences, articulate their beliefs, and report on their strategies for helping individuals who are fighting depression and contemplating suicide. Further, it is a clarion call for pastors of the Christian faith to stand on the Word of God in a tangible and bold way. Suicide grieves the heart of God. There was a reason Jesus called on His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel—it equips us to fight evil with Truth, providing hope while saving lives and souls in the process.