TMD5540EN - Issues in the Theology of Mental Illness

Course description

This course discusses the ubiquitous experience of mental illness for the sake of the Church’s mission to persons with poor mental health. Topics explored include the nature of the mental illness, the significance of mental health, the contexts for understanding mental illness, and the dominative theologies on mental illness. Based on readings, lectures, and discussions, students are assessed through book reviews, spoken presentations, service projects, and papers.

How this course benefits students

Students interested in the pastoral care of the marginal with mental illness are equipped with a deep understanding of difficult issues invited and ignited by the topic of mental illness. Moreover, this course helps students build their own theological framework of God’s purposes and plans for poor mental health, which encourages them to develop workable strategies for dealing with mental anguish caused by distress, anxiety, fear, and mental confusion.

Why this course is important

Mental illness is a big challenge for theological reflection and pastoral care because it seems to stand against the will and rule of God. Also, mental illness per se can cripple individuals in various ways and thus cause tremendous suffering to them and their communities. Thus, the would-be missionizers must understand the nature and cause of mental illness, given God’s plan with this world and how a Christian community is supposed to encounter it.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Medical Theology
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The discussions are based on biblical texts and focus on theological interpretation regarding God’ creation, human sins, and Christ’s healing power.

Missionally driven

This course aims to understand God’ mission in this world and prepare students for missional care of mental illness as exemplified by Jesus Christ.

Contextually informed

Various contexts impact the definition of and solutions to mental illness. This course considers the social, cultural, and situational contexts to understand and deal with poor mental health.

Interculturally focused

The Focus is on the possible cultural difference and similarities regarding mental health and how they help students understand mental illness.

Practically minded

Considers the strategies of pastoral care for the mental disability and equips the students with the capacity to do mission work with people with mental illness.

Experientially transformed

This course inspires students’ sense of compassion for mentally poor humans and encourages them to live out a faith in God’s healing mission.