Hands folded in contemplation or prayer

Healthy & Unhealthy Religion

0 out of 2 steps completed0%
2 Lessons

This course is scheduled to begin in mid-March 2019

Facilitated by Lee Whitlock, M. Div.


This collaborative learning seminar draws from Wayne E. Oates book, When Religion Gets Sick and other articles addressing this important topic for all spiritual caregivers.  The study will include the use of case history method and others to show what happens when people get “religiously sick” and what the spiritual caregivers, congregations, and other organizations can do about it.

The learning outcomes for this seminar are:

  1. To define dimensions of “sick or unhealthy religion” and healthy religion in spiritual care work.
  2. To examine questions such as when does religion get sick, what kinds of experience result from sick religion, can these experiences be predicted and prevented, and what can spiritual caregivers do for people live with these experiences.
  3. To understand experiences such as sick religion and idolatry, superstition and magic, the major transitions in life, forgiveness and unforgivingness, plus a pathology of religious leadership and religious factors in mental illness.
  4. To apply this learning to our work.


When Religion Gets Sick and other articles

Week 1: Conditions of a Dysfunctional Faith

Readings: Conditions of a Dysfunctional Faith and Religion by Larry J. Austin, D.Min., BCC; Chapters One and Two of When Religion Gets Sick by Wayne Oates.

Week 2: Superstition, Magic, and Sick Religion

Readings: Chapter Three of WRGS

Week 3, Major Transitions in Life

Readings: Chapters Four and Six of WRGS