Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Richard Wallace


The Church is to reclaim its teaching and praxis of the healing ministry at the example of Jesus Christ who preached, taught and healed. Healing is holistic, that is, caring for the whole person, physical, mental, social and spiritual. Healing is a part of the full salvation in Jesus Christ.

Mental illnesses or disorders affect one fourth of human beings in the world and their prevalence is far from declining. This thesis describes the model of Ambohibao and suggests it as a way for the church to do healing ministry, and particularly, as a way to approach the problems of mental disorders. The model of Ambohibao, from its historical development and from its understanding and experiencing of the healing ministry of the New Testament, acknowledges the existence of spirit-related disorders. Spirit-related disorders are disorders that are caused by spirits or demons in biblical terminology. The Ambohibao model has developed an approach to mental disorders that integrates scientific medicine and biblical methods in the caring for the mentally disordered. It differentiates spirit-related disorders from classical mental disorders, both in the diagnosis and the treatment. The model suggests that a holistic approach to healing means integrating faith/prayer and science in the caring for the sick. This thesis examines the most recent textbooks of modem psychiatry, namely the DSM IV, and contends that medical science starts to recognize the reality of factors as spirits and demons in the etiology of certain mental disorders.

The church as a community of faith and love is well equipped to do this holistic healing ministry. Theological and pastoral issues are discussed in the light of the Ambohibao model, particularly how to interpret the biblical narratives and teachings on the demonic/deliverance ministry and the dimensions of Christ’s salvation and healing.