Figure 01. Enneagram Types

(The descriptions below are taken from The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile.)

Type 1 (The Perfectionist) — Ethical and reliable, they are motivated by a desire to live the right way, avoid fault and blame, and improve the world.

Type 2 (The Helper) — Warm, caring, and giving, they’re motivated by a need to be loved and needed, and to avoid acknowledging their own needs.

Type 3 (The Performer) — Success-oriented, image-conscious and wired for productivity, they are motivated by a need to be (or appear to be) successful and avoid failure.

Type 4 (The Romantic) — Creative, sensitive and moody, they are motivated by a desire to be understood, experience their over-sized feelings and avoid being ordinary.

Type 5 (The Investigator) — Analytical, detached and private, they are motivated by a desire to gain knowledge, conserve energy and avoid relying on others.

Type 6 (The Loyalist) — Committed, practical and witty, they are motivated by fear and the need for security.

Type 7 (The Enthusiast) — Fun, spontaneous and adventurous, they are motivated by a need to be happy, to plan stimulating experiences and to avoid pain.

Type 8 (The Challenger) — Commanding, intense and confrontational, they are motivated by a need to be strong and avoid feeling weak or vulnerable.

Type 9 (The Peacemaker) — Pleasant, laid back and accommodating, they are motivated by a need to keep the peace, merge with others and avoid conflict.

The Enneagram says you identify with one type, but within each number lies an infinite number of subtypes. Ian Cron describes it this way: you might be the color red, for instance. Visit any paint store, however, and you quickly realize there are 100 million billion shades of red.

It’s not possible to look at the Enneagram and say it’s untrue. Richard Rohr, whom I consider an Enneagram Jedi of the first degree, says the only people who don’t think the Enneagram is true are those who never study it.

One more point about the types, and it’s a big one: no type is better or worse than another. Every type reveals something beautiful and redemptive about God’s character.