Restoration: An Wesleyan Model of Recovery



Wesley’s systemic model of discipleship through Societies, Bands, and Classes provides the foundation for a uniquely Wesleyan model of recovery. John Wesley’s early methods of psyches therapeia, “a spiritually-based psychotherapeutic method for healing the human soul and producing real soul-change” is still relevant today and is a proven method for transformation as is evidenced in both the Holy Club, the Oxford Group, and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Addiction is known to cross all ethnic, gender, and socio-economic lines. Addiction permeates and affects every segment of society. Today addiction extends beyond drugs and alcohol and can include many other deeds, actions, and conduct. Despite the widespread proliferation of addiction, it has traditionally been relegated to the shadows as a topic of conversation. What is conspicuously absent in most conversations involving addiction is any mention of the church and its role in the process of rehabilitation and recovery.

This is surprising given the clarity of Jesus’ mission as defined in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” Rather than live out the messy incarnate mission and message of Jesus Christ “to seek and to save the least and the lost,” the church has remarkably outsourced recovery to drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. The church, for the most part, has relinquished any role it might play in recovery to secular players, and in doing so, a much-needed voice on the topic of recovery has been silenced. In remaining silent and abdicating it’s calling, the church has forced persons to rely on mere behavioral modification programs. As a result, recovery programs advocate sobriety from a substance or behavior without addressing the real need for change and transformation of the soul itself. Consequently, one’s current addiction is frequently exchanged for a different one. Programs that do not treat addiction at a spiritual level will continue to graduate participants that simply trade one addiction for another, and this will continue until the underlying issues of sin, brokenness, attachment, and denial are appropriately and thoroughly addressed.

The United Methodist Church and its congregations do not know how to effectively address issues of addiction and recovery within a Wesleyan framework. Consequently, the United Methodist family is left to use recovery materials developed by other denominations that simply do not match the ethos, culture, and theology of the United Methodist Church. Restoration: A Wesleyan Model of Recovery seeks to rectify this and offer a unique Methodist resource, to be used as a means of salvation and healing based upon the rich culture and heritage of the people called Methodist. The text is supported by an abundance of resources including videos, sermons, and a daily workbook.


Doctor of Ministry




Miskelly, Elizabeth Raigan (2018). Restoration: An Wesleyan Model of Recovery. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from


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