Invite God into Mental Health

by Henry Reyenga

Do people seem less hopeful to you? Something is wrong, and no one is talking about it. The world of psychology and journalism is talking about depressive episodes and suicide for adolescents. The New York Times reported a 60 percent increase from 2007 to 2018. 1  With God less welcome in psychology, a mental health crisis is rising!

This suicide trend is not just in adolescents. There appears to be more depression than ever in all ages. In the USA, we have more suicides than ever. 2

Are people ignoring issues of the soul? Have people lost hope?

Are souls hungry, dry, confused, depressed, and restless?

God will help! However, God is less welcome in the world of mental health. More and more therapists exclude the presence of God to bring healing to the soul. 

When I graduated from Calvin Seminary in 1987, I highly regarded certified counselors and therapists with their respect for Christianity. In those days, I met many Christian counselors and therapists who integrated Christianity into their practices. Moreover, they were Christian counselors trained in some of the best practices of the psychology profession. Christian psychologists were agents of hope!

The trend has been changing since the early 2000s. 

In 2010, a Calvin College student submitted a paper to a professor, Sérgio P. da Silva. She submitted this paper, “After a whole semester of studies in psychology, I conclude that it is impossible to be a psychologist and a Christian at the same time.” 3 . Sérgio P. da Silva responded with an article published in the Banner. He admitted that the psychology field at the highest academic levels is hostile to God. But as a professor of psychology at Calvin College, he went on to say that Christians should be involved in all professions except the ones that are inherently unethical or immoral. 4

Yet, there still is a problem. The psychology field appears to be hostile to God. Hostile to hope!  

Is selling hopelessness and excluding God inherently unethical or immoral? 

While psychology offers many techniques to cope with daily life, it also provides valuable insights into helping people sort out their feelings. In addition, it explores the sources of their traumas and prescribes drugs that may help.

Are therapists dropping the ball on giving people hope? 

Why do I ask this? Psychology was originally a division of the philosophy field. Did you know that psychology means the “study of the soul?”

Once upon a time, in the academic world, the role of faith was recognized. In those days, religion and philosophy played a central role in general well-being and the development of society. Then, a new study came onto the scene. Psychology was born. Early psychology was thought of as the study of the soul in the Christian sense. 5

Early psychologists recognized that God created the human soul and that faith supports mental, emotional, and intellectual wholeness. The word “psychology” comes from the Greek word, psychē which means “soul, life, and breath.”

So what changed?

In his basic psychology book, Kumar Rajesh explained why the academic community rejected the idea of studying the soul as created by God. Kumar writes,

But the definition of considering psychology as study of soul was rejected because of the following reasons:

  • Nature, origin, and place of soul are not known. It has no physical existence, it cannot be seen and heard, it has no height and volume. It is a metaphysical concept.

  • It is a theological concept based on certain theories of religion and relationship to God that makes psychology more of religion than a science.

  • The soul makes science speculative as it cannot be verified. So, this definition… was rejected. 6

God was out!

The Bible was no longer considered a place of truth in the academic community. Therefore, this community puts its trust in its scientific theories. God was out! Eternal life was out. The Biblical view on thousands of life topics was out. 

HOPE was out. It could not be proved. We are just random accidents of nature. All we can do is help you cope with that through therapy or drug you through this sad truth and make you feel better about it. Has this become much of the field of Psychology?

Today, the psychological community does not recognize a transcendent soul. The Bible says that God created man and woman. We read in Genesis 2:7,

 Yahweh God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Adam and Eve had body and spiritual identities. The Bible chronicles the fall into sin where body and spirit, the souls of men and women, were separated from God. 7 The Bible talks about how the souls, both body and spirit, were redeemed at the cross and victorious through the resurrection. Any soul that bows to Jesus in trust is awakened to new creation and a bright future in this life and the life to come.

We are promoting ministers of hope!

The Soul Centers site is about promoting ministers of hope! We can benefit from insights from psychology, and yes, more Christian psychologists are needed to welcome God back into therapy. 

I look forward to the day when thousands of ministers offer specialized ministry practices that integrate their faith, training, and credentials into serving our communities. I am excited about these new agents of hope springing up through the development of Soul Centers.  

2 Corinthians 5:16-17  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

Take Aways

  1. People are looking for hope in their souls! Christianity welcomes a transcendent God into our souls to revive us with joy.
  2. We need ministers of hope who do not get lost in the worldly point of view.
  3. Soul Centers are places of hope where there is new life in Jesus Christ.

Suggested Link: 

Learn about tuition-free ministry training. Click here

Learn about a minister credentialing program with the Christian Leaders Alliance. Click here

Check out Soul Centers. Click Here


  5. Webster, Richard (2005. Why Freud Was Wrong: Sin, Science, and Psychoanalysis. Oxford: The Orwell Press. p. 461. ISBN 978-0-9515922-5-0)
  6. Kumar, Rajesh. Basic Psychology for Nurses (p. 2). Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers. Kindle Edition.
  7. Genesis 3

Henry is the president of Christian Leaders, includes: Christian Leaders Institute, Christian Leaders College, Christian Leaders Alliance, and Soul Centers. Henry graduated with a BA in Philosophy from Dordt College and an MDiv from Calvin Theological Seminary. Henry has been married to Pam since 1983, and they have five children and 16 grandchildren.