Project Documents

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

David VanDenburgh

Second Advisor

Stanley E. Patterson

Third Advisor

Zebron Ncube

Abstract

Problem. There is a growing recognition that ministers must be trained and competent in leadership skills to pastor successfully. Successful pastors are skilled in leadership practices. An MDiv degree does not increase a pastor’s capacity to successfully lead his/her congregation. As a result many congregations are unhappy with their pastors and are unable to maintain momentum and a sense of direction. Pastors, for their part, are overwhelmed and disheartened, with many burning out and leaving ministry.

Method. Conduct a leadership enrichment program for the pastors of multi-staff churches in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, using the four-year program developed by the Christian Leadership Center of Andrews University. This program incorporates (a) a spiritual component in which participants examine their core values, create a personal mission statement, and reflect to clarify meaning in terms of knowledge, experiences, beliefs, and values; (b) provides an assessment of key leadership practices with the use of the Leadership Practices Inventory; (c) provides seminars that build on leadership theory during semi-annual cohort meetings; (d) provides and assigns the best in leadership literature; (e) includes coaching/mentoring support; and (f) establishes workgroups in order to build community and in which to discuss the reading assignment.

Results. Three years after the completion of the program pastors reported greater knowledge of leadership theory and practice, a marked improvement in a variety of areas in their ability to lead their congregations and a noticeable increase in their own personal peace and happiness and in their ability to be a non-anxious presence in their congregations.

Conclusion. The four-year leadership enrichment program created and offered by the Christian Leadership Center strengthens pastors, growing them into more confident, capable leaders, preparing them to serve more effectively with less debilitating stress.

Subject Area

Clergy--Training of, Church management, Christian leadership

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