The ministry marathon: exploring longevity in the single pastorate
LE3 .A278 2004
Doctor of Ministry
Acadia Divinity College
"Using primarily the qualitative research method, my focus was that of exploring the human experience relating to the perceived benefits of the extended pastoral tenure. This tenure was fifteen years or more in a particular pastoral charge by twelve pastors of various denominations who are serving or have served in the Atlantic Canadian context. This journey of discovery sought to identify possible factors influencing longevity and to assess as to whether or not benefits of longevity can be affirmed. If so, which benefits appear especially pronounced? If there are benefits to longevity, should certain character traits and ministry skills be enhanced?" The process of research included clergy interviews and literature review. Particular attention was given to segments of the literature that spoke of longevity in the extended pastorate. Additionally, the researcher and author of this thesis wrote out of his personal experience of two lengthy pastorates. The pre-pastorate and early pastorate life experiences ofclergy were highlighted and some crises of life and ministry were documented. This study was set in a biblical, theological, theoretical, historical and personal context. The context was also extended by a brief look at the churches that had the pastors of longevity and the communities in which these churches functioned. Upon assessment, the gathered material fell into two major categories: the factors common to those given to pastoral longevity and the stated benefits arising from these factors. Pastorates of longevity were viewed to be preferable in most cases to short-term pastorates even while noting some hazards of longevity. Reasons for leaving pastorates were discussed and twelve keys to longevity were afforded those seeking lengthy tenures. Suggestions for further study included the topics of the transitions following the long pastorate and examination of intentionally short pastorates.
The author grants permission to the University Librarian at Acadia University to reproduce, loan or distribute copies of my thesis in microform, paper or electronic formats on a non-profit basis. The author retains the copyright of the thesis.