Seven Spiritual Needs

a couple looking happily at one another in the forest

Based on more than 30 years of psychological counseling and pastoral care, Howard Clinebell believed that humans have seven spiritual hungers in common. As you read through them, consider whether you recognize any of these spiritual needs in yourself. Are there particular areas of “spiritual hunger” in your life that need more attention than others?

Specifically, Clinebell felt that human beings long to:

  1. Experience the healing and empowerment of love—from others, self, and an ultimate source.
  2. Experience renewing times of transcendence—expansive moments beyond the immediate sensory spheres.
  3. Have vital beliefs that lend meaning and hope in the midst of losses, tragedies, and failures.
  4. Have values, priorities, and life commitments centered in issues of justice, integrity, and love to provide guidance in personally and socially responsible living.
  5. Discover and develop inner wisdom, creativity, and love of self.
  6. Develop a deepening awareness of oneness with other people, the natural world, and all living things.
  7. Have spiritual resources to help heal grief, guilt, resentment, unforgiveness, self-rejection, and shame and deepen experiences of trust, self-esteem, hope, joy and love of life.