Christian Science Practitioners

A Christian Science practitioner is an individual who prays for others according to the teachings of Christian Science.[1] Treatment is non-medical, rather it is based on the Bible and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (1875) by Mary Baker Eddy (1821–1910), who said she discovered Christian Science in 1866 and founded the Christian Science church in 1879. According to the church, Christian Science practitioners address physical conditions, as well as relationship or financial difficulties[2] and any other problem or crisis. Practitioners are either “listed” or “unlisted,” a designation that refers to a form of international accreditation maintained by The Mother Church, in Boston, Massachusetts. “Listed” practitioners are included in the directory of Christian Science practitioners on the church website, and printed in the Christian Science Journal. In the United States, Christian Science practitioners are legally defined as health care providers.[3]Any student of Christian Science may take patients, but only those “listed” as practitioners in the worldwide directory published in The Christian Science Journal and on the Christian Science website are regarded by the church as experienced healers. The church writes that, to become listed, applicants are interviewed, and must provide references from “three patients who can confirm a complete healing through [the applicant’s] prayerful treatment.”[4] Applicants must also have taken “primary class” instruction by an “authorized teacher of Christian Science” under the aegis of the Christian Science Board of Education, as stipulated in the Manual of The Mother Church, which governs all activities of the church.[5] An authorized teacher is one who, having had primary class instruction and a minimum of three years’ experience as a practitioner, has completed the normal course. Normal class instruction is held once every three years and is limited to 30 pupils. Primary class is held once a year by each teacher and is also limited to 30. According to the Manual, those who complete the normal class receive the certificate “C.S.B.”[6] Tuition for both classes is fixed by the Manual at $100.[7][8]

^ a b c Vitello, Paul. “Christian Science Church Seeks Truce With Modern Medicine”, The New York Times, March 23, 2010.
^ “Christian Science practitioners” Archived 2012-02-24 at the Wayback Machine,
^ “29 CFR § 825.125 – Definition of health care provider”. LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2020-11-13.
^ “Application for Advertising as a Christian Science Practitioner” English version, June 2012 Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine The Mother Church website.
^ Dickey, Adam. “The Mother Church And The Manual” The Christian Science Journal (April 1922). Retrieved May 8, 2013
^ Manual of The Mother Church, 89th edition. First published in 1895. pp. 90-91
^ Manual, p. 91
^ a b Manual, p. 84

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