Bible Study & Art Therapy?

by Theresa Arita
(Auburn, ME)

I want to combine my concern for hurting Christians, use peer counseling and art therapy (learned at college for a school counseling degree), and Bible studies to encourage believers to avail themselves of God's healing power.

Have any of you tried this before, for yourself or with others? Say, helping someone, or yourself, through a loss with specific Bible verses and then creating an art project around it (not for exhibit, but for therapy)?

I am an artist also recovering from PTSD, addiction, depression and anxiety with the Bible's amazing help and God's healing love. Jesus is leading the way, but I want to do more to help others.

Please let me know your thoughts, experiences, or resources for continuing such a ministry. Thank you!

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Art Therapy Research
by: Daniela

Hi, I am really happy to see Christians engage in art therapy or anything creative as a way to engage with God.

I am doing a Masters Art Therapy course in Australia and have an art therapy research assessment due in a month. It is an unobtrusive research report which means that it does not involved others. My unit is called Critical and Creative Enquiry. I was hoping to do something regarding creativity and Christians. Whilst researching I stumbled on your site and hoping perhaps discussing your experience with christians and creativity and how it has worked.

I was hoping to explore, perhaps an arts-based and authethnographic method as a self-study of sorts. I am particularly interested in focusing on how we could explore our relationship with God using reative therapies, that is, art and drama. Or, how engaging with the Bible via creative therapies enhances our understanding of God and ourselves.

Hopefully, I'm not intruding but yours is the first site I have found that is actually engaged in Art Therapy and the Bible.
Thanks :)

Creating with the Creator
by: Ashley

Hi! I wanted to update from an original comment I made a few years ago (at the top entitled, a birth of this dream in Texas). Since then, the Lord has used this blog and comments to connect so many people from around the world. At Created Ministry God has given me a call to not only lead creative and reflective art sessions, but now to fully train others in art ministry. We’ve gotten the chance to train creative warriors on 6 continents and are seeing Jesus birth a similar vision in people from everywhere with a desire to use the arts as a healing tool for Gods people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the story- I was praying about a way combine art and Jesus and He led me to the random blog post and comment! I’d love to hear all the amazing things He is doing with art ministry, shoot me a line if you’d like to connect, receive training, read Creating with the Creator, or pray together. Blessings and thanks for the chance to share our story on your page!! and

The birth of this vision in Texas
by: Ashley

Hi! Several years ago I went through the process of getting a masters degree in Art Therapy because I a strong desire to see God use art for healing. Sadly, most of the art therapy programs didn't have any way of connecting my love for Jesus and most of the Christian programs didn't combine the arts so I stopped the process. Instead God gave me an exciting idea and for the last three and a half years I have seen some amazing things happen. I have a BA in art education but not Art therapy. I run a non-profit and ministry called Created and the purpose is to connect people with the healing heart of God through visual art. I lead sessions where people come and create and spiritually reflect. We have been in nursing homes, art studios, office conference rooms, churches, schools, homes and the streets. Its only been the grace of God that we have seen beautiful healing and miraculous connection with the Holy Spirit. Just recently God put it on my heart to begin training others to do the same so that this ministry wouldn't be limited to my own small scope and abilities. For anyone interested, I am leading a small training school called C.A.M.P. (Created Arts Ministry Program) and am working on a book as a teaching tool. Reach out if this stirs your heart at all and I pray the Lord continues to use creativity to reach and heal hearts.

Recovering self to be a blessing
by: Gerri Kirby

I am a recovering alcoholic and have used the 12 steps and scripture to find my way back. Praise God ! Since then I have done numerous presentations here in the states and recently in Cairo Egypt. I am in the process of sharing my experience strength and hope in book form. Any publisher suggestions would be great ! We must show the world who Jesus is and what he can do through recovering ourselves in simple symbolic ways. To Him be the glory ❤️

Healing Trauma Through Art
by: Michael McGrath

I am a Christian artist, who uses art for my own healing and for tgechealing of others, especially men.

I am reading a book called, "The Body Keeps the Score," by Dr. Van Der Kolk. Research has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that verbal/cognitive therapy doesn't work for trauma victims. Neither does medication. The trauma rearranges EVERYTHING in the victim's physiological and psychological make-up. The ONLY therapy that is,proven to work is the use of the arts to pull the damage out of the human body, where it retains the memories of the trauma.

I am in the middle or tail end of my own healing, right now. I am at, if anyone wants to talk about this issue.

Art Therapy & Christ's Healing Power!
by: Jen Alward

I'm so excited to see this discussion.
It's always exciting to hear about how God has transformed and healed...and how He has specifically used art to bring this about.

I am a licensed art therapist and professional counselor in WI. I am in the process of writing an ebook on this topic of combining Art Therapy with Christian Therapy etc. There are several creative bible studies and art journaling resources that I've found out there such as but nothing specifically from a therapeutic perspective.

Please let me know if you have questions you'd like to have answered and if you'd like to be informed of the book when it's completed. I would love to create something that is useful to as many people as possible. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated as I continue this project. Thank you.

by: Wanda Bird

One thing I didn't mention. Yes I still grieve but
not as those who don't have hope. Hope in the one who loved us completely, who walks with me through this journey. "Take courage" he has said, "For I have overcome the world".

Using Art through Loss
by: Wanda Bird

Yes Theresa I have used the wonderful vehicle of art, which I consider an amazing provision of God, to help me on my journey through grief.
My mom passed away 5 years ago. We were very close and she was such a sweetie. She died of a rare bladder cancer. The pain of her ordeal and ultimately losing her, caused my creative yearnings to rise to the surface. I couldn't shake the medical memories as I call them. I felt haunted by dark images. I asked God to replace one certain putrid image of her bladder. The new image came to mind 3 days later. It was that of her bladder being filled with diamonds. And so immediately I knew I had to physically create that image. I went to my parents home and retrieved her last ostomy bag, one that she was about to use but never did.
I scoured the stores for a material I could afford to represent the diamonds. I ended up putting irridescent beads inside the ostomy bag and placing fake jewels all around it. I can't tell you how much that one little creative act did to bolster my faith and comfort me. I would look at it every day and think of mom with a new body, a heavenly one, and of being in heaven with God as well as the beauty of that place God is preparing for us and that she was already there. So fast forward to the present and I have completed that one piece adding 12 pearls that represent the 12 pearled gates that will be in heaven and I have placed the bag on a background of gold cloth and enclosed it in a square shadow box which represents the dimensions of heaven which is a square. I have also decided that two other pieces need to accompany this one. One representing her life and all of our lives and another death. There are many metaphors coming from these. I have grappled a lot with whether I should try to exhibit these due to the personal nature of them or if I should just let them be therapeutic benefit to me. So this piece of art that came out of my pain has blossomed into a solidification of my faith in Christ, has brought me comfort and shows the story of the temporal and the eternal.

Art Helps to Heal
by: Sue

Hello. I'm a self taught artist, 60 plus years college degree. I am a believer in Jesus, born again and blessed.
I also am being led in this direction as well. I am thoroughly convinced that art is healing.I am beginning to understand God's hand in my own life with this amazing gift he has given me.
I attend a wonderful church where the pastor encourages me to use this gift in the women's ministry which I am a part of. I just can't seem to figure out which direction to go in or how to implement it.
However after reading your post, your suggestion of a bible verse and then painting something that connects to the verse is a good place to start. So simple, yet so profound.
I welcome any other suggestions you or anyone else may have. We are all all here in this place and time to preach the gospel message and to remind others that there is beauty...God's beauty that still surrounds us. He IS present in and around us. Again, thank you.

Artists for the kingdom
by: Alaina

I am a born again Spirit filled. Believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I also have my masters in counseling and art therapy. There is so much I want to say, but will be brief. My journey in art therapy was not so easy. Working as a somewhat disguised Christian in secular often dreary environments for over 20 years had taken its toll. I worked in residential settings, schools, prison, hospitals and churches. Although, I consider some of it training ground, I often longed for the freedoms to be open in my faith. Even in Christian environments there were was limitation to what can be shared. I find it is oppressive to not be able to openly share, But thankfully it's a new season!

I have just started painting again after many years as all the analysis and process etc took the love of art away. I am now rising again and teaching a class for kingdom artists. I am trying to find and start a healing prophetic art center along with counseling for artists and people from church and in the community.. Yes everyone has jumped on the license bandwagon and getting jobs can be easier, but it is not the only avenue. Btw depending on your state you do not need a license to practice, but cannot accept insurance.

Creativity and the arts are rising up for His glory! Be encouraged as a new move of God is coming forth! Contact me at if you have any questions or need a lil guidance.

All For Him,

Same exact boat
by: Sam

You know the funny thing is.. is that I am in the same boat.
I want to be an art therapist, but I can't quite seem to find the niche. I want to turn it into a ministry.. I think I want to work with kids.. but still struggling to figure out how to get where I want to go. I also am recovering from addiction, PTSD, major anxiety, and major depression through God's healing power. I am going to take the time to read the rest of the comments and such but I can't really think of what info I have to share with you as of this moment..
Just know that you aren't alone! Keep praying! I will pray for both my dreams to come true as well as yours.

Using Therapeutic Art in Christian Ministry
by: Paula

12/10/2016 It's difficult to know how old this discussion is so this input may quietly fade into cyberspace. However, I felt compelled to add my two cents worth. I have a M.A. in Christian counseling and am currently doing doctoral research to discover "The Efficacy of Field Missionaries Using Art as a Therapeutic Tool" thus the interest in this topic. I'm also a registered psychotherapist, have a private practice, and conduct mental health and therapeutic art training for humanitarian and mission organizations in Kenya.

Therapeutic art is extremely effective and simple to teach, even to oral learners that are the common caregivers in many developing countries, where mental health care is in short supply. As believers in Christ, we first seek to share the message of ultimate healing through trusting Christ. However, for those whose trust is shattered by severe emotional or physical trauma, trust must first be rebuilt, and creative expression offers a means to begin the rebuilding process. By offering a place to express that which has escaped expression, by placing THAT-whatever it is-OUT, onto paper, into sand or clay, it can then be shared and when shared, becomes less threatening. Hope and trust start to grow. I have seen it hundreds of time; in a young girl so badly abused, she could not speak, or a woman who suffered unspeakable acts of violence. DISCLAIMER: It's not primarily due to my years of education and background, but because of Christ's love in me.

Google abounds in information on the educational requirements and the differences between an art therapist (a.t.), expressive arts therapist (e.a.t.), licensed professional counselor, and someone who uses the creative arts as a therapeutic tool. Even though there are differences, all require basic mental health and art education. For those interested in pursuing art therapy in combination with areas of Christian counseling, pastoral or private practice, you should be trained in both mental health care and art education. You don't necessarily have to be a good artist but you do have to have a basic knowledge of artists tools and various art making techniques.

There are two paths: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or lay counselor. To call yourself a professional counselor or set up a private practice, all states require you be licensed and no agency or hospital will hire you without being licensed. A state licensed requires at least a Master's degree and at least two years of supervise work. The second path, lay counselor (pastoral, life couches fall under this category), in most states, can counsel in a private charity or Christian organizations without being licensed by the state. In this setting, you can also use therapeutic art activities although you cannot call yourself an art therapist. You are simply using art as a therapeutic tool. I hope this information has helped someone. If you want to know more, contact me at International Arts in Healthcare - facebook.

Christian artist networks
by: Fred Baumbach

To those looking for other Christian Artists,
I'm involved in a Christian Artist group on facebook that has really blossomed and covers all levels artists. It's "Prophetic Arts for Jesus".
To Jesus be the glory, Fred

Reply to Wanda :)
by: Anonymous

Hi Wanda!

You responded to this thread a bit earlier in the post, but I felt like I needed to let you know that a friend recommended a book series to me by Theresa Dedmon. I am pretty sure she is not a licensed Art Therapist... (nor have I read any of her books, to be honest.) :)

I've been drawn to this book because of the title: 'Born to Create: Stepping into Your Supernatural Destiny', and the other book my friend specifically recommended to me was 'Cultivating Kingdom Creativity' also by Mrs. Dedmon.

Good luck with your adventures and happy creating. May God empower you to move forward in this endeavor according to what needs to happen. :)


God's healing through Art
by: Roberta Williams

This is so interesting and timely right now, and I think you are on to something of and for the Lord. I have seen on the news in just the last few weeks that veterans have had better results with more holistic, faith based therapy for PTS (or PTSD). I'm not sure how recent these posts here are, because there is no date on any of them, but I have recently made a decision to go to grad school with the intention of becoming an Christian art therapist. I am the wife of a veteran and a professional artist ( or @robertawilliamsart). I have also taught art for many years. I have seen God bring healing to my students through the therapeutic process of creating art. I also know two things to be absolutely true: God is the most brilliant artist, and only God can heal people. However, He works through us and with us, also. I speak about Jesus, the Cross and the Scriptures often when I teach, and I have thought and prayed about this for years.

However, art therapy degree programs are not common, and Christian art therapy degrees are even more uncommon. I
hope to see that change in future years. I will be attending a Christian university to pursue a masters in professional counseling, and I plan to do my practicum and internship with a lisenced art therapist. When I've talked about this, some have expressed an interest in this helping those with PTS (PTSD).

I believe God is moving here in this, and I feel blessed that others are seeing it as well.
God bless,

Founder, Iguana Art Academy (
by: Tim Chambers

Hi Theresa-

Are you qualified as a therapist? I am looking for someone to create a much-needed Art Therapy course for our online art school. I have first-hand experience with families who would love such a course, both for adults and children, to serve a variety of needs, including special needs students and people who are cognitively fine but going through a traumatic or difficult time.

If you or anyone reading this is interested and feels qualified to create a course, let me know.

Oh- and it's very intuitive and not difficult to create a course, especially if you have a good sense of artistic design and experience and joy in teaching. And if you know PowerPoint, then you're good to go! :)

If interested, visit drop me a line at for a chat. :)

Tim Chambers

by: Anonymous


I found your post by searching "biblical art therapy" on Bing. I am also a trained artist by worldly standards, who was diagnosed with PTSD. I was seeking/searching to see if I could find anything about biblical counseling specifically in the area of art, because my art background in high school and college is so tied up with the emotional wounds I received before I came to know the Lord. But I am trusting on faith that He can and will and is continuing to heal those wounds. There should definitely be a bible study art therapy time in which worldly gifts and talents are put into the context of spiritual gifts (as well as fruit). For example, I was trained to make art based on my own ideas, opinions and feelings. But focusing on those led to certain shipwreck. Art focused on God's ideas, expressed through Christ in us, God's thoughts and feelings-- however that may look-- seems a noble, yet perhaps unobtainable goal, without deep prayer and meditation on scripture, as well as seeking wise counsel. Art can surely be used to build up the Church, but only if we completely surrender it.

Wonderful discussion; looking for art therapy teacher
by: Timothy Chambers

This has been a wonderful discussion. It is great to hear how art can be a vehicle for healing. Having been a professional artist my entire career, for a long time I me I only saw art as something to master, and painting as a means of responding to the beauty around us. However,when I saw unskilled students deriving much joy from attending my classes, I began to see art as a means of joy above all else. Look at the delight that both young child and parent derive from the child's rudimentary, colorful, whimsical painting.

It is no surprise, then, to see the powerful therapeutic role the creating of art (or better- the art of creativity?) can have upon a person, whether for emotional, spiritual, or cognitive healing or growth. I am loving how my understanding of art has expanded from simply a skill to be mastered to one that echoes the heart and mind of our Maker.

As a result, I am searching for someone to teach an art therapy course for our online art school, Iguana Art Academy ( Someone with a combination of an effective teacher, practicing artist, a heart of compassion, and the message of hope. Any interests or referrals are welcome. Thank you :)

Help of the Holy Spirit
by: Sara

Hi Rebekah,

I can't honestly say that I understood all the terminology or concepts that you were describing in your post. Some words that you used make me distinctly uncomfortable, like "a Christian Shaman". The word "Shaman" has new age connotations. To use it in conjunction with "Christian" is akin to mixing the Holy with the profane.

Being led by the Holy Spirit and living a victorious life in Christ is distinctly different from any other life on the planet. It is delightfully simple and joyful!

We dwell in Christ, His spirit leads and guides us in every aspect of our lives, including our art.

Through the process of leaning upon Him and His wisdom, we gain insight into the practical matters of living. If we need healing, we receive it, if resources, that too is provided, peace - also taken care of.....!

The Bible yields it truths to a searching human heart ONLY with the help of the Holy Spirit, not by any rigid method or system. The truths in the Bible are infinitely superior, particularly in terms of dealing with the spiritual roots of issues that require "therapy".

Perhaps that is what you were suggesting. It was unclear, at least to me.

I pray that God will guide you in your search to find, in the all sufficiency of Jesus Christ, all the answers to questions that you seek.

In Him,

Seeking Christian Theory in Art Therapy
by: Rebekah Copas

I am a Christian, and currently studying Art Therapy, in an Advanced Diploma (two year) course, in Australia at the Ikon Institute. So far I am unimpressed with the course, and its transpersonal bias, but very engaged by learning Art Therapy. I found your site in early stages of my seeking out Art Therapy resources (and theory if any exists), which is Christian in perspective.

In general, I am a stay at home mother, with little education or work experience, although my father is an academic and my mother is a school teacher. My previous experience is in the Community sector in Australia, and as a youth worker, and practicing homeopathy among friends, family, and eventually paying customers. You could call me a Christian Shaman, for want of a more appropriate job description.

What drew me into Art Therapy, is in having begun a qualification in Homeopathy and alternative health science, (eg Naturopathy), but I discontinued the study because I did not enjoy the tension that was going down, between those eager to prove a scientific basis of alternative health care, and those eager to prove any non-Christian based Spiritual basis of alternative health care. As a Christian, I could see the flaws in the desperate way many alternative health care specialists want to prove themselves scientific, but in ways counter productive to health. They were chasing an outcome little different to those who insisted that any non-Christian spiritual way could provide health.

Instead, I studied Theology a while, but felt disinclined towards the Academic gradings of Religious feeling. I had begun studying in the Constantine tradition, but when I had already begun moving outside of that tradition. But in Theology, what I liked very much, is an area called "Practical Theology".

Practical theology involved a process, of identifying a social or personal issue that was currently unresolved, then finding a metaphor that related into the issue, and then finding Bible verses that relate to the metaphor, rather than going straight to the Bible, while feeling bogged down in the issue, and uncertain. I have a strong notion, that this same process, can incorporate Art Therapy. Because finding the correct Bible verses to help resolve an issue, might be easier to do around an Art work, than around the issue itself.

My choice to move away from my Anglican heritage, and Anglican Theology, join a new Church, and now study Art Therapy, was a hard choice, but it felt inevitable. Yet I am now studying in a very un-Christian context. The Ikon Institute was seeking to align Art Therapy, via transpersonal psychotherapy, with pre-Christian belief systems, and pre-Christian systems of health care, such as Shamanism. Now, as a Christian, I happen also to be acquainted with a significant number of Christian traditional indigenous healers, or Shaman, (Ngungkari is their title in their own languages), who have acknowledged my own skills in healing. Their acknowledgement feels like a greater qualification than modern academia could provide.

Where I want to dispute the Ikon Institute's theoretical basis, is only in its leaning away from Christianity, rather than it its emphasis on Shamanic practices in health care. Therefore, I am kind of tackling the transpersonal theory head on, and wanting to prove, that as long as we sustain absolute faith in Jesus being King of Kings, and through him are certain One God is real, all the rest of the pre-Christian beliefs that transpersonal psychology was being bogged down too far with, will do no harm to our Christian hearts and Christ centered concepts of what enables real health.

Art flows from within!
by: Sara

Hi Maritzela,
What a lovely description of the Lord using your creative ability to heal your grief!
As Christians, because creating art is a non verbal worshipful activity, it is a wonderful way to allow the Holy Spirit to work in, and through us to heal, restore and refresh us from within.
May God continue to use your work to bless others.

We are Gods creation, why not bible study and art therapy
by: Maritzela McGreevy

I think that is a great idea. I remember when I lost my 90 year old grandmother. She lived in Panama, I didn't have enough money to go to her funeral, I grieved and I felt guilt for not being able to pay my respects like my other family members. In my grief I began to make paper mache vases and bowls, and little by little I felt better, after a while, I could finally exhale and not feel like I was going to fall apart. the art I created I gave to my sons teachers, and I taught the children how to paint them. The experience I know God had a plan, he created me and gave me and all of us talents to use not bury and through our journeys in life we can create beautiful things to help others, we end up helping ourselves as well.

Using art to process grief
by: wanda

I so appreciate all you've said on using scripture and art together to allow God to heal us. I am 50 years old and studied art as a young person working as a graphic artist. Over the years I put my art on the shelf as I married, worked and later had children. I always missed doing art but since my mother's recent death the yearning to do art has become loud and constant. I wish I could do art therapy (biblically based of course) to help me with losing my mom but I want to use my sorrow and my love of the creatve process to help otherd

grief, the bible and art
by: wanda

I too am wanting to help others navigate, process and walk through grief over loss using God's word and art as well as do this for myself. I am an artistic person who majored in art but let it go over the busy years of raising a family. Now I find myself in a very dark place of grief over the loss of my mom to cancer. Everything within me is screaming to do art but I want to aporoach it prayerfully. Do you know of any Art Therapyy books with a Christian worldview?

Christian Art Expression
by: Julie

I am a christian who and an artist. I went through a horrible head-on traumatic car accident. My face was smashed into the steering wheel along with many other life changing injuries. I used my art to help survive through it all and as I had several years of rehab, God kept working on me to use art and His Word to help facilitate healing in the lives of others. Here is an old website of how it all began, but from what you will read in the website, a Christian art Ministry was born. It developed into a wonderful ministry in which I never went back and filled in the old website. Here is the old website address. With out God's Word, there is no real healing. Click on the art link and read about my own experience but also about the first lady I was able to work with.

Art in the prisons
by: Patty Fiorilli

I am delighted to find this site.
I meet with women inmates for bible study bi-weekly. This week after meeting with prison official I got the ok to do art with the prisoners. I provided a written explanation of the benefits for the inmates, along with a set of goals and a lesson plan. I am so excited about it. God put it on my heart to integrate art with scripture last year and now He is making it possible. Thank you, my Lord and Savior.

Response and Thanks
by: Theresa

Thank you both for your responses.

I got one idea for this when I drew simple pictures for my young daughter and she painted, or colored them, while I read the Bible story to go with them - Daniel and the lions, Jesus' parables, etc.

Then in the Expressive Arts as Therapy class, I experienced movement therapy, drumming therapy, "speaking" through nature drawing/poem pieces, and other ways of doing art that were very easy and insight-giving.

It seems Christians could use a safe way to open up like this - within the boundaries of the Bible's guidance.

I've given a few paintings away with scriptures on them, that I think encourage the recipients. I've also written up some "lesson plans" but have no one but myself to try them out on.

I'll let you know my progress - good luck your own work for the Kingdom!

Art & Bible Study
by: Susanna Mills

I don't have any experience, and I'm pretty hopeless at doing anything consistently-but I sure would love to give this a go! It certainly has been on my heart to establish an 'artistic' bible study, but I wouldn't know where to start.

I don't know of any Christian Creativity-specific resources except this one. There is an Arts Bible study group I heard about nearby, so must do some research. All the best with what you are doing- do keep us posted!

Sara: I am working on a book to explain better the lessons that I've learned. This website was created to address the gap in useful information for creative Christians. I hope to have the book available soon.

Art as visual aid in a Nursing Home
by: Fred Baumbach

I have used acrylic paintings to help instruct at a Nursing home and as a Bible study visual aid. I have noticed that even though you may start with what you feel the Lord has put on your heart, God often has His own purpose on an individual level.
Just as music speaks at a deeper level than the conscious, so with art. It is often birthed at unconscious level and ministers that way.
I have submitted some pieces here on the gallery page.

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