Project Documents

Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Walton A. Williams

Second Advisor

Robert Peck

Third Advisor

Tom Evans

Abstract

Problem. During the first decade of the 21st century, the Rocky Mountain Conference leaders fostered the professional development of the pastoral workforce. Although periodic seminars and training events were provided, an ongoing model supporting individual growth in ministry deserves further study and implementation. Research indicates that ministerial attrition rates continue to rise in Christian churches, especially among those new in ministry. With the increasing complexities of life and demand for quality pastoral leadership, the intentional development of relationships designed to impact these leaders is vital to strengthen both personal and professional growth.

Method. An existing Christian coaching model was chosen and facilitated by the researcher among six pastoral leaders during 2010-2011. Coaching contracts were formed and implemented. The purpose was to realize the impact of these coaching relationships over the course of six months. An instrument was developed which integrated three areas, “knowing, being, and doing.” The success of the coaching relationships was measured by a self-assessment instrument and review questionnaire.

Results. All six of the pastoral leaders completed the coaching contract time period. The project focused on the data received from the project assessment tool completed by the participants. The analysis demonstrates the positive impact that the coaching relationship brought to the experience of the participants. Statistically significant (p<.10) positive outcomes for pastoral coaching impact were found in nine of 30 items. These range from p = .004 to p = .093. One statement has statistical significance of p = .004; two statements have a p = .042; five statements have response ratings that result in a p = .076; one statement lists a response value of p = .093. The main weaknesses related to sample size and coach experience of the researcher although positive results were identified.

Conclusions. The study demonstrates the value of long-term relationships on pastoral leaders in order to improve satisfaction in their areas of “knowing, being, and doing.” Larger sample studies would be helpful in the future to determine if the results would be similar for other coaching approaches. Long-term studies would additionally prove beneficial in evaluating the positive impact of the coaching relationship. In general, these finding suggest that broad implementation of the coaching relationship would have positive impact mitigating pastoral attrition rates.

Subject Area

Clergy--Coaching of, Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy, Mentoring in church work

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