An exploration of the relationship between failed senior pastor appointments in three large United Methodist churches and seminary preparation, professional identity, and person-environment
This research project involves three large churches in a particular Mid-Western Conference of the United Methodist Church, where the Senior Pastor experienced a failure in the appointment process, lasting for a period of three years or less in a specific large church setting before a move was initiated. In addition to interviewing the Senior Pastor in each of these three settings, interviews were conducted with a lay leader from within the church, a member of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, and the District Superintendent from the time of the move of the Senior Pastor from the church. An extensive overview of the research concerning the seminary preparation of clergy, the development of clergy professional identity, the fit between the pastor and the particular church setting, and the itinerant system in general is included. Results will provide an overview of the salient issues and important elements related to the stories from each of the three settings, with an emphasis on the issues, common patterns and themes, along with discrepant data. The conflict related themes and patterns that emerged in the three cases included a history of conflict, difficulties in transition, a conflict in style of worship, a conflict in direction or focus of ministry, a conflict in style and strength of leadership, and a conflict in ownership. Implications for both research and practice are discussed, including a number of recommendations for the leadership of the United Methodist Church. Recommendations related to practice include: relocation support, longer terms, District Superintendents, smaller districts, salary, confidentiality, de-briefing, profiles, the introduction, training churches and clergy, the guaranteed appointment, guidelines, mediation, interim appointments, recommendations for new pastors, supervision, and the cluster system and mentoring relationships.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:professional identity personality type person environment interaction itinerant itinerancy appointment failure united methodist church large senior pastor district superintendent staff parish relations committee clergy seminary prepar
Date of Publication:01/01/2007