Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Nicole Taylor

Second Advisor

Terri Davis

Third Advisor

Philip Mamalakis


Veterans, Clergy, Mental health, Pastoral care, Moral injury, Posttraumatic stress, Acceptance and commitment therapy


Many veterans opt to seek the support of clergy before mental health professionals. Most clergy, however, are unfamiliar with the nuances of the veteran culture and experience. Mental health professionals who specialize in working with the veteran population can collaborate with clergy to bridge this gap of care to mutually develop a better understanding of veteran culture and symptoms of mental health conditions common among the veteran population, and by equipping clergy with basic tools that promote psychological and spiritual wellbeing. Special consideration is given to the concept of moral injury and the application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, illustrating ways in which they align with the cultural and theological implications of Orthodox Christianity. This paper is intended to serve first, as an informative resource for those interested in integrating mental health and spiritual care and second, as the foundation upon which to build an implementable training program for Orthodox Christian clergy ministering to the veteran and military population in their parishes.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.


43 pgs