Recovery from Abuse Resource Center

Curator: Dale Ryan

Most of the material in this resource center began with lectures presented in a class entitled "Pastoral Care and Abuse" at Fuller Theological Seminary. So. . . some of it will probably feel like the kind of stuff that might be helpful to pastors-in-training. You will notice in particular that some of the recommended reading is books or articles from theological journals. Also expect this material to feel fairly protestant and generally evangelical (or post-evangelical, semi-evangelical, quasi-evangelical) in tone — if these things are ‘triggers’ for you, I encourage you to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You and your well-being are far more important than anything you will find on a web page. Practice good self care.

I hope you will find something here that is helpful. My best advice is: Take what works and leave the rest.

May your roots sink deeply in the soil of God’s love,

Dale Ryan


  1. says

    I have been searching the internet for weeks trying to find sources on “healing” from an abusive person with Narcisstic Personality Disorder (NPD). I was emotionally, mentally and spiritually abused. He also used “gaslighting” which most people are not familiar with, unfortunately. I am a Christian and he calls himself a “Christian” but I hate to judge but he is FAR from Christian. He is a pathological liar, controlling, manipulating and very abusive to me and other women. I need to have resources that can help me deal with the sorrow and pain I feel now. He has now moved on to a “new supply” (another woman) to destroy her life too. That is what Narcisstic mean do…a pattern who continue to abuse and hurt others and eventually “discard” the person, once they don’t get the praise and worship they desire. Can someone please show me what direction to go for “healing”. I have been praying to the Good Lord to find me a source and I do believe this is it! Please e-mail me back with ANY suggestions.

    Thank you,

    • says

      Hi Loretta. I am not sure what part of the world you are from, but if you can retreat for a few weeks, and give yourself time to heal, With the right people, I would do so. There are also online healing course you can not only heal from, but learn a lot from.

  2. Survivor says

    Church leadership have a great responsibility to the FATHER’s sheep, and will face serious consequences for their actions at judgment.
    That being said, I also was betrayed by a past pastor; however, not in most ways.
    This past church chose to protect an 11-year-old sex offender who became my son’s best friend. This boy was in my home, I fed him & his dad, this boy spent the night, & I had a younger son in the home.
    This boy, along with a couple of his friends, raped his 7-year-old sister. Yet, this boy was allowed to attend elementary school, at church (thru out high school) was allowed to participate in all youth group activities – including mission trips & over-nites at the church.
    No one … NO ONE monitored this boy’s activities – certainly not his dad, or the church.
    In the meantime, when I found out about this boy, & his offense, he & my oldest son were 18-years-old. He convinced my son to walk away from his family.
    That was almost 17-years ago, & my son has never changed his mind.
    That church chose to protect a sex-offender over my family.
    I have long ago forgiven them, yet, that has not changed the fact the kind of damage churches can cause. That is between them & the FATHER. Not me.
    I talk about it only because churches need and should be aware of their responsibilities to their sheep. If they don’t know already know it, I don’t mind, I don’t mind sharing.

  3. Belle says

    I’ve been sexually abused when i was a child and i’ve never recovered from it: it has been 8 years now. I just wish i could move on, you know? I can’t even tell anyone cause they were my own cousins. I wish i had a normal childhood.

  4. Jayda says

    Any title, that has “pastoral” in it, sends me into emotional turmoil, mostly anger. I was sexual and spiritually abused … by a pastor. My spiritual journey will never be the same; I trust no one in churches. I was abused – as an adult. They investigated and apologized to me. But then their insurance company got involved and encouraged them to change their story: The church started using the word “affair.” They continue to lie to cover up their early admissions. The abuser has been welcomed back into their fold; I have been exiled from a very full life and continue to feel the abuse due to their denial and inability to be godly. So for anyone who is a “pastor-in-training,” I pray (that when you are old and fat), you keep your grubby hands and mind off of your sheep.

    • Linda says

      Whoever did this has to live their life as if they have a millstone around their neck. GOD said it whoever causes one of his children to stumble will live as if they had a millstone around their neck. Maybe they can shove it under the carpet and Act like they did not do anything but guess what…God can see it all, even under their dirty carpet and He does’nt like it one little bit. He’s on your side honey don’t let the SOB’S FOOL ANYBODY! Just ask him to expose them and watch what he does. Ha ha ha!!!

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