Date of Award

Summer 8-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Claire Dandeneau, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Shirley Johnson, Ed.D.


African-American women’s ability to cope with painful life experiences through their spiritual connection with God has been linked to positive life satisfaction and therapeutic results. By embracing this beneficial change agent, counselors can begin to learn how to effectively integrate spirituality and religion into the counseling process.

This study aimed to find out what Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) knew about the Christian religion and spirituality and whether they use this intervention throughout treatment. The knowledge and intervention domains of the 1998 ASERVIC Spiritual Competencies were used to measure these constructs.

30 LPCs participated in this 20 question survey which was a modification of Cates’ (2009) Spiritual Competency survey. The results showed that counselors gave themselves high ratings in both the Knowledge and Intervention domains. Written responses suggested that many counselors use spiritual and religious interventions but at a minimal risk level.

These findings suggest that LPCs should obtain the necessary training in order to be properly equipped to address spiritual and religious issues. Further research in the area of psychological pain as it relates to the coping skills of Christian African-American women is needed in order to create accurate mental health assessments, diagnosis and treatment protocols.