Books by Wayne Oates


 Wayne Oates authored 58 books during his lifetime, many of which are recognized as significant contributions to the literature in the fields of psychology of religion, pastoral care, and pastoral counseling. Several of these, including The Christian Pastor, remain in print with the original publishers. Many, however, have gone out of print. Through the Wayne Oates Republishing Project the Oates Institute is bringing a number of these works available again by digitally republishing them.

This section made possible through contributions in honor of Charles Gaba, MD.

Republications funded in part by contributions from Eleanor Bingham Miller



  • Care of Troublesome People

    ctp-frontIn The Care of Troublesome People Wayne Oates combines family systems theory with insightful analysis of five types of behavior that frequently create conflict in congregations. Dr. Oates provides biblically based approaches to assist clergy, congregational lay leaders, and denominational leaders in the care of persons while demonstrating these behaviors.

    You will learn how to approach the troubled and troublesome people in your congregation in specific ways that are not dismissive but are caring, affirming, and firmly grounded in God's grace. Rather than point fingers, fix blame, or characterize such people as bad or evil (which can only serve to create further turmoil), Dr. Oates proposes a bold new way to care for troublesome people that focuses on not just the battles, but the issues of wholeness and care for the individual, ourselves, and the congregation.

    The republication of this book was made possible
    through a grant from Eleanor Bingham Miller

  • When Religion Gets Sick

    wrgs-book-sWhen Religion Gets Sick is widely regarded as one of the classics written by Dr. Wayne Oates. Sick religion is defined by Dr. Oates as one that "hinders the basic functions of life." In this book he uses a case history method for exploring religious pathology and addressing such questions as:

    • When does religion get sick?
    • What kinds of experiences result from sick religion?
    • How can spiritual caregivers help people who have such experiences?

    When Religion Gets Sick was originally published by Westminster Press in 1970. While the content of this book remains quite relevant today, the language reflects the biases common to the publishing industry in the 1960s and early 1970s. We also acknowledge that there have been numerous developments in the care of mental health since its original publication.

    The republication of this book was made possible through a grant from Eleanor Bingham Miller
  • Your Right to Rest

    Your Right to Rest coverFor the many people who feel exhausted and overworked, this book affirms that all human beings have an inalienable right to rest. Dr. Oates confronts the destructive role of fatigue in spiritual and interpersonal relationships and demonstrates how fatigue cause individuals to experience a personal energy crisis. He reflects on the meaning of living in harmony with the rhytmns of life while also showing the need for sufficient sleep and the value of home as a haven of rest. He concludes with a discussion of what he referes to as the "prayer of rest" and reliance on the resources of God's renewing power.