At the end of his book Why Christians Can’t Trust Psychology Ed Bulkley has a list of “Resource Groups.” One of the groups listed is Trinity Theological Seminary (TTS). Trinity College of the Bible and TTS are located in Newburgh, Indiana. It is the institution from which Bulkley obtained his Ph. D. degree.
According to its catalog, Trinity Seminary offers the Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Ministry degrees in Biblical Counseling (p. 23). TTS offers these same degrees in other fields as well. However, the Biblical Counseling major is what caused us to look into this institution.
According to Dr. Edward Hogg, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Trinity:
20-25% of the monthly student prospects ask about the Biblical Counseling program;
Approximately 25% (1,000) of the 4,000 currently enrolled students at Trinity Bible and Theological Seminary are either taking undergraduate and graduate courses with a Biblical Counseling emphasis, or are majoring in Biblical Counseling.
In describing Trinity’s Biblical Counseling Programs, the catalog says:
Among the many things which you will accomplish in the Trinity program will be the ability to differentiate between Biblical Counseling and Christian Therapy. You will also learn to distinguish between Systems Therapy and Psycho-Analytic Therapy. Your awareness of the distinctives of these systems will enable you to critically evaluate the counseling models available as you develop and individualize your personal counseling model (p. 3).
That description opens the door to integrating aspects of the over 450 different systems of secular therapy into whatever becomes the students own “personal counseling model.” That is exactly what secular therapists do. They become aware of the various systems of therapy and then “critically evaluate the counseling models available” to them as they “develop and individualize” their own “personal counseling model.” This is an example of why we are concerned with the biblical counseling movement! The words biblical counseling are used to identify all kinds of “personal counseling model[s]” gleaned from integrating psychological counseling theories and techniques with the Bible.
Program Directors for the various programs offered by Trinity are listed in the catalog (pp. 37, 38). The two listed for biblical counseling are Dale Hansen and Howard Eyrich. In looking into the backgrounds of these men, we find both to be integrationist. In other words, they use a mixture of psychology and the Bible.
If one reads the brief description of Hansen, it is hardly necessary to prove the case that he is an integrationist. The description states that Hansen is:
Founder and Director of Christian Concept Counseling in Phoenix, Arizona. Clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a State Certified Marriage and Family Therapist.
Note that Hansen has a State of Arizona certificate to practice Marriage and Family Therapy and proudly lists himself as a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The AAMFT is purely and simply a psychologically oriented group. The secular training requirements for clinical membership are extensive and cover four pages in the AAMFT brochure. Hansen could have been an associate member of AAMFT without fulfilling such requirements.
While the name of the business Hansen directs in Phoenix is called Christian Concept Counseling, it is literally a pay-for-therapy office. In a brief paper titled “The Purpose of Christian Concept Counseling,” Hansen says:
I believe in blending biblical principles with counseling techniques to help clients find the answers to their spiritual needs.
In the same paper Hansen answers the question, “Do you see any differences between religious counseling and traditional [i.e., secular psychological] approach?” by saying:
I believe that a Christian therapist has a distinct advantage over the traditional approach, in that we can use Biblical principles to help clients find answers to their spiritual needs as well as deal with the emotional needs a client may have.
That statement could be made by each and every Christian psychotherapist who attempts to integrate psychology and Christianity.
Howard Eyrich directs Trinity’s Certified Program in Biblical Counseling. Eyrich has past and present relationships with both the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC) and the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF). We have been critical of both organizations regarding integration and unbiblical teachings.
The Trinity catalog describes Eyrich’s book as follows:
His book: Three To Get Ready: A Premarital Counseling Manual, now in its second edition, has received enthusiastic response among individuals in America and abroad (p. 37).
There is much to criticize in Eyrich’s book and much evidence of integrationism. One of the major evidences of integration in Eyrich’s work is his use of the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (TJTA).
The TJTA is admittedly a psychological test and plays a major part in Eyrich’s book. Eyrich says of the TJTA:
This test does not purport to be Christian. But it is not generally offensive to biblical presuppositions . . . overall the average pastor will find this test a helpful tool for surfacing potential problem areas between prospective mates (p. 34).
Eyrich refers to the test as a: “quick and efficient method of measuring certain personality traits which influence personal, social, marital, and family adjustment” (p. 34).
We discuss personality testing in our book Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing. Contrary to what Eyrich says, the TJTA is offensive to biblical presuppositions; and, according to testing standards, it is not worth using. Besides the TJTA being limited to reflecting only a superficial psychological (not biblical) view of the person, the TJTA fails miserably when examined according to academic standards (see Four Temperaments, Astrology & Personality Testing, p. 161). To say the least, there is a discontinuity between what academic literature reveals and the imputed wonders of the test as described in Eyrich’s book. Eyrich’s book is further evidence for the psychologizing that occurs at Trinity.
There are other evidences of compromise on the part of both Hansen and Eyrich. However, enough here has been said to mark both of them as being integrationists. To avoid the psychological contamination that must occur in the program from these two integrationists, one should look elsewhere for a purely biblical program.
Dr. Thomas Rodgers, President of Trinity Theological Seminary, said that NANC certifies Trinity graduates. If this is true, it stands as one more link in the biblical counseling chain. A connection exists between Trinity and their integrationist teachers and NANC. Bulkley’s endorsement of Trinity stands as further revelation of his lack of discernment and lack of real commitment to the Bible.