Theopolis Workshop: The Path of the Cross and Christian Psychodynamic Counselling, with David Field
Mar 26 - May 7
Online Term


The path of the cross entails and is illumined by both the conceptual and the clinical emphases of Christian psychodynamic counselling.

James Jordan has often highlighted the importance of taking human psychology seriously, from a number of perpectives:

  • Redemptive history: “Adam and Eve … had the office, but they lacked the wisdom, the psychological heaviness, to bear it.”
  • The form of Scripture: “Biblical writers … express the simultaneous existence of various layers of consciousness and the conflict between them.”
  • Liturgy:  “Liturgy must match … the psychology of holistic man.”
  • Typology: “Biblical typology is not mere (nominal) symbolism, but is related to the way God has structured both His universe and human psychology.”
  • Systematics: “… given our "depth-psychology" understanding of the incomprehensibility of man.”

And, of course, the Theopolis priorities of “Bible | Liturgy | Culture” include a resolve to serve the Church with perspectives on discipleship and formation, and the part which Christian counselling and psychotherapy might play in them.  This workshop seeks to explore some of these perspectives in the following ways. 

The way of the cross is the path to human maturity and since Christian counselling is a sort of highly customized discipleship we should expect it to be formed by and to reflect the cross.

Specifically, the cross of self-donating death leading to glory-enhancing resurrection life is seen in the shape of redemptive history, the saving work of Christ, and the pattern of Christian discipleship so human renewal in Christ will involve a descent to the depths, a laying down of life, a move towards that from which naturally we shrink, and daily, multi-faceted ego-relinquishment.

Along these lines, this workshop will endeavour to substantiate and illustrate the thesis that the path of the cross entails and is illumined by both the conceptual and the clinical emphases of Christian psychodynamic counselling which include:

  • the vital importance of infancy, especially our relationship with our parents, in shaping our orientation towards God as Father and the church as mother;
  • the predisposition to the feeling of rejection inherited from Adam, reinforced in infancy and exploited by Satan, along with the absolute necessity of the experience of gospel acceptance if we are to grow;
  • the recognition that many of the most powerful forces at play in a human’s life are operating beneath or beyond their conscious awareness (which may invite a sort of psycho-archaeology at the service of growth);
  • taking seriously the depth and complexity of our resistance to honest, open, vulnerable, emotionally engaged ‘presence’ to reality (God!), along with the many and various defences we deploy to stay away (which are themselves forms of spiritual blindness and idols);
  • the importance of the body and the emotions in understanding our predicament and entering into gospel wholeness;
  • the call to Christian counselling to be aligned with and at the service of Christian liturgy, community, and the life of prayer.

Bio: David Field has lectured in seminaries in Nigeria and England, served as minister of a local church south of London, and worked in business as an executive search consultant for leading international universities. He studied at Oxford, completed his PhD on Puritan theology at Cambridge, and has published books on the Puritan John Howe and on Obadiah. David is now a Christian counsellor in private practice and lives in Oxford with his wife Sue.

Cost: $100 / person

When: Weekly on Saturday, from March 26 - May 7 (skipping Holy Saturday on April 16)

Time: 1:00-3:00pm CST

Where: Zoom


Theopolis Institute admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies or scholarship programs.

*This requirement was added in July 2016. For those who entered the Certificate Program earlier than that date, the oral examination is voluntary.

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