Inner Healing Movement

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The Inner Healing Movement refers to a grassroots lay counseling movement among Christians of various denominations.


Agnes Sanford (1897–1982) is considered to be the mother of the inner healing movement. Along with her husband, she founded The Agnes Sanford School of Pastoral Care in 1958.[1]

The inner healing movement is also often compared and associated with Inner Healing and Healing of Memories. Other people who feature prominently in its history are Ruth Carter Stapleton,[2] Leanne Payne, Francis MacNutt and Charles Fillmore. A number of organizations are currently active, including Elijah House,[3] Ministries of Pastoral Care,[4] and Sozo Ministries.[5]

Concerns about memory work[edit]

Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM) techniques and other inner healing models that incorporate memory work have become popular. However, some have concerns about these approaches with some of their underlying principles being compared with those of Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT).[6] In the Journal of Psychology and Theology, Spring 2004, Christian psychologist David Entwistle summarized some concerns associated with Theophostic methods: 'TPM follows in the lineage of "healing of memory" techniques, though it departs from that lineage in a number of important respects. Numerous concerns exist surrounding insufficient attempts to ground TPM in biblical concepts; inadequate and often flawed explanations of basic psychological processes; dubious claims about the prevalence of DID, SRA, and demonic activity; estimates of traumatic abuse that exceed empirical findings; and the failure to sufficiently appreciate the possibility of iatrogenic memory contamination.'[7]

TPM and others, such as De Silva and Liebscher of Sozo ministry, denounce the use of memory recovery as described in the above concerns. Practitioners of their methods that have strayed from the standard teaching seem to be the source of these concerning practices.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The School of Pastoral Care". Archived from the original on 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  2. ^ Ruth Carter Stapleton, Time Magazine Obituary: Monday, Oct. 10, 1983.
  3. ^ Elijah House
  4. ^ Ministries of Pastoral Care
  5. ^ Sozo Ministries
  6. ^ Jan Fletcher July 2, 2003, Controversial international ministry operates from Campbellsville, "Central Kentucky News Journal".
  7. ^ David N. Entwistle Spring 2004, Shedding light on Theophostic Ministry 1: practice issues, "Journal of Psychology and Theology".


  • J.D. King (2017), Regeneration: A Complete History of Healing in the Christian Church Volume Two, Christos Publishing ISBN 0-999-28261-1
  • K. Lehman (2016) The Immanuel Approach: for Emotional healing and for life. Evanston IL: Immanuel Publishing
  • Agnes Sanford (1974), The Healing Power of the Bible, Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 0-340-18217-2
  • Ruth Carter Stapleton (1979), The Experience of Inner Healing, Bantam Books ISBN 0-553-12047-6
  • Charles Fillmore (1995), Prosperity, Book Tree ISBN 1-58509-294-0
  • Leanne Payne, The Healing Presence, Baker books ISBN 0-80105348-X
  • Rusty Rustenbach (2011), A Guide for Listening and Inner-Healing Prayer: Meeting God in the Broken Places, Nav Press ISBN 978-1-61747086-8
  • Edward Smith (2004), Healing Life's Hurts Through Theophostic Prayer: Let The Light Of Christ Set You Free From Lifelong Fears, Shame, False Guilt, Anxiety And Emotional Pain, Regal Books ISBN 0-83073669-7