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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The sacred vs. the secular : evangelical Christian psychologists’ religious values and ethical practice Irvine, Kathleen A.


Evangelical Christian psychologists sometimes experience tension between their religious and moral values and the values represented by the ethics codes of their professional associations. A qualitative study, using the Critical Incident Technique (CIT), was done to explore the question: "What factors help or hinder evangelical Christian psychologists in dealing with the tensions they experience between their religious moral values and the ethics of professional psychological practice as embodied in professional ethics codes?" Twelve participants identified a variety of tensions and factors that helped and hindered in resolving these tensions. Their responses were categorized into 306 incidents, which were organized into 13 helping categories and 5 hindering categories. Experiencing support, engaging in a process of self-reflection, acquiring knowledge, being open to God, and being clear on beliefs and roles were the primary factors that helped participants deal with these tensions.

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