Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Hovestadt

Third Advisor

Dr. George Robeck


United Methodist pastors, serving churches in the State of Michigan, were surveyed regarding their participation in counseling and referral to other mental health providers. In addition to a demographic questionnaire, each pastor completed two standardized instruments, the Counseling Self-Estimate Inventory (COSE) (Larson, et al., 1992) and the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS) (Edwards, 1959). Dependent variables of amounts and types of counseling being conducted, scores from the COSE and EPPS, and four satisfaction ratings, were compared across several independent variables including: pastor's gender, age, race, length of service, theological orientation, and amount of academic preparation specifically related to mental health/counseling in college, seminary, graduate school or other training.

The hypotheses were analyzed with a series of Analyses of Variance (ANOVAs). The sample included data from 97 pastors, including 56 females and 41 males. Notwithstanding that only one null hypothesis, out of six, was rejected, the findings of this research provide important information about the role of pastors in the delivery of mental health services. Results indicate that pastors are performing minimal long term counseling. The results also revealed that pastors are being presented with a variety of counseling issues, foremost of which are premarital and marital counseling, parenting issues, grief and loss issues, and substance abuse counseling. The average pastor in this study spends about nine percent of their time in counseling. COSE scores indicate that pastors generally feel competent in their role as counselors, and EPPS scores indicated high needs for Nurture, Intraception, and Affiliation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access