Enneagram — Research Resources

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  1. Enneagram of Personality
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  • A brief report on the origin of the Enneagramoffsite Draft from the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices, archived at the Internet Archive

    An examination of the origins of enneagram teaching reveals that it does not have credibility as an instrument of scientific psychology and that the philosophical and religious ideas of its creators are out of keeping with basic elements of Christian faith on several points. Consequently, the attempt to adapt the enneagram to Christianity as a tool for personal spiritual development shows little promise of providing substantial benefit to the Christian community.

    The most obvious weakness of enneagram teaching is the numerology on which it depends. Enneagram teachers attach great significance to certain numbers, for example, the decimals resulting from the division of one by seven and by three. This numerological theory finds no support, however, in either the modern science of nature or Christian teaching. Because of this, for a Christian to subscribe to such numerology would be to fall into a form of superstition.

  • Enneagramoffsite from The New Age: A Christian Critiqueoffsite by Ralph Rath
  • The Enneagram GPS: Gnostic Path to Selfoffsite by Marcia Montenegro, of Christian Answers for the New Age.

    A simple investigation into the Enneagram reveals that its theories of personality are based on esoteric teachings and an occult worldview. The clear origin and purpose of the Enneagram is to initiate a Gnostic spiritual awakening to one’s alleged true divine Self, which is in itself an occult initiation. This is the claim and goal of virtually all occult and New Age teachings. The purpose of such initiation is a shift in consciousness, a change in the way one views reality — God, the world, others, and self.

  • Enneagram versus the Catholic Churchoffsite by Rick Kephart. Written from a Catholic perspective, but useful in that it highlights the fact that enneagram teachings use terminology that sounds biblical, but whose meaning is redefined.
  • Gurdjieff and the Enigmatic Enneagramoffsite by the Anglican Renewal Ministries of Canada. The article “article emerged out of a footnote to a larger investigation into the relationship between Dr. Carl Jung, neo-gnosticism, and the MBTI.”
  • Tell Me Who I Am, O Enneagramoffsite Fr. by Mitchell Pacwa, S.J., Christian Research Journal, Fall 1991, page 14. See also his book.

    The enneagram is particularly popular among Catholic groups, with parishes and retreat houses offering workshops across the country. Rarely are teachers or participants aware of its occultic origins, something that should be a source of real concern for the Christian church. Echoes of a false, Gnostic theology are heard in enneagram teachings, though its occult roots are masked. The lack of scientific research into the enneagram system is an additional cause for concern. This article will examine these three aspects of the enneagram: its occultic roots, its Gnostic theology, and its lack of scientific support.



Dictionaries / Encyclopedias

See Also

  • The Enneagram and the MBTIoffsite Research on how the Enneagram and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator relate
  • Romancing the Enneagramoffsite by Don Richard Riso, who disputes claims of an ancient Sufi origin of the enneagram. The article is published on the website of The Enneagram Institute, a major promoter of the enneagram.


  • The Enneagram Instituteoffsite One of the foremost proponents of the use and value of the Enneagram. Included as a research resource; not an endorsement. It’s ‘about‘ page states:

    The Enneagram Institute is dedicated to the Work of human liberation and transformation. For thousands of years, spiritual teachers from many different traditions have reminded us of the richness of the human spirit and its potentials. But without real self-knowledge, it is not possible to awaken to the deeper truths of the soul or to sustain whatever degree of realization we have attained. One of the most powerful tools for understanding ourselves and others is the Enneagram, an ancient symbol of unity and diversity, change and transformation.

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This post was last updated: Feb. 18, 2013