About this Class
The primary subject of this course is depression. In much of the Christian world this topic has been taboo, misunderstood and rejected out of hand. If that is your perspective, let me encourage you to take another look. In 2005 I almost lost the ministry God had gifted me for and called me to because of depression. Dr. Gregory Knopf, my medical doctor at the time treated me with skillful, tender, compassionate Christ-centered care and saved my ministry. Dr. Gary Lovejoy brings a pastoral heart to his profession and to this issue. If you are a leader in a church, this course will give you insights into people’s lives that will be productive. If you are struggling yourself with discouragement you will be encouraged and challenged.
In Lecture 4, The Elephant in the Room, Dr. Lovejoy mentions some self-assessment forms. You can find them in his book, Light on the Fringe: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Depression.
Description and characterstics of depression.
Predisposing biological factors for depression and description of how the chemicals in the brain interact when you experience depression.
Examples of people recorded in the Bible who experienced depression, how it affected them and how they responded. How our concept of God is a major contributor to depression. Understanding what the Bible teaches us about the nature of God can help us avoid and recover from depression.
The roles that spiritual counseling, prayer and guidance can help in recognizing and providing a solution for depression. Description of the role that medication can play as part of the solution. The danger of describing mental illness as only a spiritual problem.
The importance of adjusting the focus of our thought life as part of the process of overcoming depression. The importance of having an open discussion about depression in the context of a church community. Two common mistakes we make are trying to control things we don’t have control over and not controlling things we do have control over.
The importance of dealing with anger appropriately and suggested strategies for doing it. The importance of an accurate self-concept and how scripture informs us in this area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the programs intended for?
The Foundations program is intended for everyone, regardless of biblical knowledge. The Academy program is intended for those who would like more advanced studies. And the Institute program is intended for those who want to study seminary-level classes.
Do I need to take the classes in a specific order?
In the Foundations and Academy programs, we recommend taking the classes in the order presented, as each subsequent class will build on material from previous classes. In the Institute program, the first 11 classes are foundational. Beginning with Psalms, the classes are on specific books of the Bible or various topics.
Do you offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program?
At this time, we offer certificates only for the classes on the Certificates page. While we do not offer transfer credit for completing a certificate program, you will be better equipped to study the Bible and apply its teachings to your life.