Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Scott M Hawkins


Church, Military, MST, Sexual Assault


Christianity | Community Health | Other Mental and Social Health | Practical Theology | Religion


Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is, together with the current military suicide epidemic, arguably the greatest danger to soldiers serving at home or abroad, and sadly the former is a contributing factor for the latter. MST involves the sexual assault or sexual harassment of an individual by one or several fellow service members. An important avenue of assistance is through the local church; however, "the quality of mental health providers does not include a sufficient number of faith-based counselors (especially Christian) to serve the predominantly Christian demographic in the U.S. Armed Forces." To assist in this, a psycho-educational support group has been developed for use in the local church. Intended to help survivors begin the road back, twelve two-hour sessions are outlined, which include rapport building, assessment, and discussion, under the leadership of a experienced individual. As the participants become more able to discuss and interact about the causes and effects of their trauma and the result on their life in the intervening years, any serious issues, including comorbid factors, will be dealt with outside the group setting by a trained professional. The desire is that this program may help many who find themselves in another type of "harm's way" to overcome the effects of MST.