Trauma-Informed Ministry Projects

Principal Investigator: Cynthia Eriksson, PhD
Student Investigator:
Kacey Krotz, MA, Julie Rommen, Robert Craig, Susannah Robb Kondrath

Project Description

Research and program development projects focus on key aspects of creating trauma-informed ministry: assessing needs for trauma-skill trainings, surveying current pastoral and international ministry workers regarding their experience of burnout and their conceptualization of theodicy, and identifying the ways that psychosocial competence in trauma response may be incorporated into effective ministry.

As a follow-up and extension of the 2007 study on Risk and Resilience in Urban Ministry, this research team has conducted a study to look more deeply at the ways that traumatic experiences influence one's development of faith and spirituality, as well as how spirituality may buffer the effects of trauma exposure. Thirteen in-depth interviews and three focus groups were conducted to explore positive and negative experiences of ministry, faith, and trauma in the urban ministry community. To date, this project has produced three doctoral dissertations (one PhD and two PsyD projects), and two Masters Thesis. The Urban Project is now in the dissemination phase. Several of these projects are being prepared for publication, and research results from all projects will be used for psycho-education purposes for the ministry organizations that participated in the study. The lab has forged a collaborative partnership with the Fuller Youth Institute in order to effectively disseminate research findings to the urban community.


Currier, J. M. & Eriksson, C. B. (in press). Trauma and spirituality: Empirical advances in an under-studied area of community experience. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community.

Eriksson, C. B., & Duke, T. (2013) Ethics in Providing Psychological First Aid. In R. Sanders (Ed.), Christian Counseling Ethics: A Handbook for Therapists, Pastors and Counselors (pp. 465-481), Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Academic Press.


Fort, C., Gottuso, D. A., Wilkins, A. M., & Eriksson, C. B. (2014, May). Posture towards God and ethnic background: A qualitative analysis of urban youth ministry workers’ responses to stressful life events. Paper presented at the Psychology and Spiritual Formation: Third Annual Center for Christian Thought Conference, La Mirada, CA.

(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182