A Framework for Trauma-Responsive Faith Communities

Course Description

Continuing Education Hours: 3.5

This training is a collaborative presentation based on the book, Trauma in the Pews: Impact on Faith and Spiritual Practices. The presentation will address the ways that faith communities often unintentionally misjudge the effects of childhood trauma in both positive and negative ways— often re-traumatizing the traumatized. Five common religious practices will serve as examples in discussing the neurobiological impact of trauma on faith and an individual’s ability to participate in spiritual practices. These practices will consider the topics of sin, conviction, repentance, forgiveness, self-loathing, and unmet childhood needs. The strength of the survivor will be emphasized and five principles of trauma-responsive churches will be offered as paths to provide safe-spaces for both healing and spiritual growth.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to distinguish between traumatic events and the ongoing physical, emotional and/or spiritual impact.
  • Participants will be able to distinguish between neurobiological responses to trauma and spiritual issues.
  • Participants will be able to identify at least five practices that either retraumatize or prevent spiritual growth those impacted by trauma.
  • Participants will identify ways that viewing behaviors (coping/survival) through a trauma lens increases compassion within faith communities and allows recognition of the spiritual strengths of survivors.
  • Participants will understand concepts of spiritual co-regulation, personal regulation, and resilience.
  • Participants will be able to evaluate a faith community’s application of the five principles of trauma-responsive practices.

Janyne McConnaughey, PhD

Janyne McConnaughey, PhD is a nationally known author and speaker who became a trauma-informed advocate the moment she heard the phrase, “There isn’t anything wrong with you; something bad happened to you.” Realizing healing is possible for survivors, she authored three memoirs describing the effects of childhood trauma and the paths to healing that changed her life followed by Trauma in the Pews: Impact on Faith and Spiritual Practices.

Janyne draws from her life-long involvement in church ministry and a thirty-three-year career training teachers and ministry workers at colleges and universities. She holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Innovation from Colorado State University–Denver and is currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tabor College (Master of Education: Neuroscience and Trauma). Janyne also serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Attachment & Trauma Network (ATN), a non-profit with the mission to promote healing of children impacted by trauma through supporting their families, schools, and communities. Janyne and her husband reside south of Seattle with their rescue dog Weber where they enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest and spending time with their children and grandchildren.

Enrollment Pricing

CCPA and GDPR Disclaimer: all personal information is considered private and confidential and Arizona Trauma Institute never provides the information to a third party or uses the information for anything other than its intended purposes for training registration.