Depression and Ministry: A Silent Epidemic

Posted: March 14, 2019



HIU’s own Dr. Paul Alexander, Vice President for Academic Affairs, has created a powerful, poignant workshop and video series for pastoral staff entitled “Depression & Ministry.” The need to develop a curriculum and presentation for this topic has been on Dr. Alexander’s heart, but he was compelled to action after the tragic suicide of a pastor in the Inland Empire last fall. This resource is being offered for free to churches for their pastoral staff.

“The goal of this workshop and video series is to encourage pastors and give pastoral staff a voice to admit when help is needed,” says Dr. Alexander. “We want to take away from the stigma that surrounds mental health, especially in pastoral careers. Because 6% of our population is dealing with depression, we also want to ensure our senior ministry staff understand what some of their church members may be going through.”

“We’re here to offer a safe space to bring awareness to this topic, as well as offer permission for pastoral staff to discuss any issues they may be having,” states Dr. Joe Grana, HIU’s Dean of the College of Pacific Christian College of Ministry & Biblical Studies.

Currently, there is very little information currently regarding depression among professional clergy. Anonymous interaction during the presentation using “Woolclap” software will help collect data for furthering research studies on this vitally important topic.

“There’s never been a more important time for churches to address the subject of mental health and depression, and there is no one I know more capable of speaking to the subject matter than Dr. Paul Alexander of Hope International University,” says Gene Appel, Senior Pastor at Eastside Christian Church.  “He has spoken to our staff and many of our parents. Everyone has found his presentation tremendously informative and helpful.” Dr. Alexander is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and an Ordained Pastor in the Christian Churches/Church of Christ.

In 2019, Drs. Alexander and Grana will be touring the following churches with the 90-minute presentation:

  • March 6      West Valley Christian Church - West Hills, CA
  • March 7      Central Christian Church - Mesa, AZ
  • March 19    Shepherd Church - Porter Ranch, CA, organized by Tim Winters
  • March 25    Crossroads Christian Church - Corona, CA
  • March 26    First Christian Church - Huntington Beach, CA
  • May 16       Long Beach churches, organized by Mike Goldsworthy of Parkcrest Christian Church. Location TBD
  • Sept 11       Portland churches organized by Sean Thome of Northwest Christian Evangelistic Association. Location TBD
  • Oct 2          Christ’s Church of the Valley - Peoria, AZ

For more information, or to inquire about hosting this important workshop, contact Dr. Joe Grana.