Date of Defense



Comparative Religion

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Lawson

Second Advisor

Dr. George Robeck

Third Advisor

Ron Grant


Many researchers claim there are three to five million members in 2,500 destructive groups in the Unites States today.i It is important that all persons understand that destructive religious groups exist and be familiar with the dangers posed by these groups. This education is an overwhelming yet necessary task. Seminary students need to be educated about the dangers, effects, and goals of destructive groups. Although cults are not a religious phenomenon, persons most often turn to members of the clergy to address their questions and concerns. Ministers are frequently called upon to counsel a cult member or their family. Therefore, an understanding of group philosophies and mind control techniques is essential for seminary students I would also encourage the use of this material for an orientation group, school seminar, church, or graduate school.

The purpose of this unit outline is to provide much needed material to educate seminary students about the warning signs and characteristics of destructive religious groups. This unit is intended to teach seminary students how to educate others to prevent cult recruiting. It is true that many of the students of this course will never be approached by a cult recruiter. This course explores ethical issues and sociological phenomenon that are essential in a well-rounded seminary education.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only