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Drs. Christopher Cone, Jeff Cox, Tom Baurain and Luther Smith field questions during the 2020 Christian Leaders’ Conference. 

Calvary’s Christian Leader’s Conference featured faculty papers on biblical counseling and psychology.

Calvary’s annual Christian Leader’s Conference addressed, “What makes counseling biblical?” Dr. Luther Smith, Biblical Counseling chair, was heavily involved in planning the event and said, “It was well attended on campus and online,” with about 60 persons total, “a mix of students, as well as pastors and counselors.” He also said, “The response was really good… people had lots of questions. They enjoyed the information and the thoughtful discussion.”

The conference featured presentations by a variety of Calvary faculty, including Dr. Smith, Dr. Jeff Cox, and Dr. Christopher Cone. Dr. Smith noted that, even though the presenters had not discussed the details of their presentations together, “We were saying the same thing. And that was really encouraging to me… If I mentioned [a concept] in a sentence, someone else would mention it in a paper; if I mentioned it in a paragraph, someone else would mention it in two.”

Arianna Erixon-Bova, a senior at Calvary, said, “it was wonderful to sit down and hear scholars and academics bring everything back to the root of all truth… [The conference] encouraged and pleaded for us to go back to Scripture and find the truth there, first and finally. The speakers explained that we do not need to stray away from psychology, but we do need to make sure that it is rooted in Scripture when we do use it.”

Bill Stebbins, Calvary’s Chief Development Officer, was highly involved in the logistics of the conference, and said, “I think the highlight is when you have a roundtable or the discussion, because now it’s question and answer, and you have multiple personalities up there.”

The papers presented at the conference are slated for publication as a book later in the year.

Articles Presented at the Christian Leader’s Conference

(Follow links to watch videos of the presentations)

Psychology: A Discipline or a Philosophy?  | Dr. Luther Smith

Dr. Smith’s first presentation discussed the relationship between believers and psychology and the respective consequences of defining psychology as a discipline or worldview.

Deconstructing Psychology | Dr. Christopher Cone

Dr. Cone addressed the church’s leeriness towards psychology and how the church can appropriately approach and utilize the discipline.

The Priority of Scripture | Dr. Thomas Baurain

Dr. Baurain addressed what elements must be present in biblical counseling for it to truly be biblical, focusing especially on the centrality of the Bible.

Where Can Wisdom Be Found? | Dr. Jeff Cox

Dr. Cox’s paper referenced Job and Proverbs, investigating a biblical ethic for the source of wisdom.

Specific Distinctiveness of This Approach: Consistent Application of Literal Grammatical Historical Hermeneutic | Dr. Luther Smith

Dr. Smith’s second presentation discussed how the distinctive of consistently applying a literal grammatical historical hermeneutic affects the discipline of biblical counseling.

General Distinctiveness of This Approach: A Discipline Born from the Biblical Worldview Followed | Dr. Christopher Cone

Dr. Cone’s second paper took a more general look at the distinctives of biblical counseling and how the biblical worldview influences the view of counseling and psychology.

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