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Theology for Psychology and Counseling

An Invitation to Holistic Christian Practice

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This book explores the significance of theology and the Christian faith for the practice of psychology. It introduces undergraduate psychology students to basic theological terminology and concepts and lays out a method for theological reflection that informs the practice of psychology in clinical and research settings. The authors identify, develop, and deepen the key theological doctrines that operate in the background of the practice of psychology and are essential for integration efforts between psychology and theology. They upgrade the biblical and theological content of these integration efforts, focusing on the ways theology deepens psychologists' understanding of their field and their work. Each chapter includes introductory takeaways, questions for reflection and discussion, and resources for further study and reading.

Theology for Psychology and Counseling demonstrates how psychology and the Christian faith can be brought together in a mutually enriching lived practice, helping students engage in psychology in a theologically informed way.


Part 1: What It Means to "Do" Theology and Why It Matters for Psychologists
1. How to Do Constructive Theology
2. Creation as a Trinitarian Project
3. God's Wider Presence
4. Christology, Incarnation, and the Imago Dei
Part 2: The Psychologist as Theologian
5. Research Psychology as Experimental Theology
6. Clinical Psychology as Practical Theology
7. Psychology as Contextual Theology


"In Theology for Psychology and Counseling, Callaway and Whitney provide a superb resource for the contemporary integration movement. I can think of no other book where the authors have such deep knowledge of both theology and psychology, yet they write in a way that is approachable, engaging, and accessible to all. This should be one of the most important integration books of the decade."

Mark R. McMinn, scholar-in-residence, George Fox University

"Theology and psychology are both human quests. Each discipline deals with the big questions of life: What makes life worth living? What is the flourishing life? How can we live it? They approach these questions from their respective philosophical and empirical idioms. Science-engaged theology has become a popular buzz phrase of late; however, theology-engaged psychological science has not been pursued as vigorously--until now. Callaway and Whitney argue compellingly and convincingly that theology is meaningful because it is about what matters most for human life and offers genuine value to psychological science by adding richness and texture to psychological accounts of human flourishing and enormously enriching empirical investigations into the good life."

Robert Emmons, professor emeritus of psychology, University of California, Davis; editor in chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology; author of The Psychology of Ultimate Concerns

"Theology for Psychology and Counseling provides psychologists with a foundational and holistic understanding of how core tenets and principles from Christian theology can inform and improve counseling and clinical practice. A highly approachable text that is both clever and earnest, this book is a worthwhile and delightful read for novices and experts alike. Callaway and Whitney's culturally relevant illustrations, key takeaways, personal anecdotes, and reflection questions help readers to actively engage the ideas rather than passively consume them. This is the first accessible text that helps students think about how to integrate Christian faith and psychology written by actual theologians who are also trained in psychology--a long-awaited addition to the conversation!"

Sarah Schnitker, associate professor of psychology, Baylor University

"Callaway and Whitney generously invite psychology students to the constructive adventure of doing theology in a way that advocates for and learns from psychology--most distinctively in their strong account of God the Spirit's wider presence. Winsomely written and knowledgeable about the fields of study, this book gives us biblical and theological integration at its boldest, aiming to instill habits of seeing and loving that recognize God and neighbor in the academic work and professional practice of psychology."

Andy Draycott, associate professor of theology, Talbot School of Theology

"Callaway and Whitney's book is at once a warm welcome and an uncomfortable challenge to think with clarity and depth about how Christian theology can motivate and guide one's work as a psychologist."

Justin Barrett, author of Thriving with Stone Age Minds: Evolutionary Psychology, Christian Faith, and the Quest for Human Flourishing

The Authors

  1. Kutter Callaway
    Jonathan Stoner

    Kutter Callaway

    Kutter Callaway (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author or coauthor of five books, including Deep Focus: Film and Theology in Dialogue.

    Continue reading about Kutter Callaway

  2. William B. Whitney
    Bruno Pescina

    William B. Whitney

    William B. Whitney (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of psychology at Azusa Pacific University. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a private practice in Pasadena, California.

    Continue reading about William B. Whitney