Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religion & Culture / Religious Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Delton J. Glebe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Jay E. Adams, a popular writer of counseling material primarily for evangelicals is examined on the theory and practice of nouthetic counseling. Nouthetic counseling is seen primarily as a confrontational approach utilizing a literal interpretation of scripture as the basis for counselor directed change. Adams is evaluated on his application of scripture in the counseling process. His nouthetic approach is compared and contrasted with other pastoral care counselors as well as some traditional and non-traditional theories of psychiatry. Most of the comparison takes place through conversational dialogue which highlights differences and similarities in philosophies and techniques. A primary contention is that Adams has simply appropriated the Reality Therapy technique of William Glasser to a theological context thus nullifying his claim of originality. Final evaluations and conclusions weigh the relative worth of nouthetic confrontation based upon the research which was conducted. Adams’ technique of nouthetic confrontation is seen as having a very limited basis for application. His extensive use of scripture is deemed inappropriate to many situations and nouthetic counseling borders closely on being characterized as judgmental moralism.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season