Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Jay Brand

Second Advisor

Petr Cincala

Third Advisor

Dave Gemmell



Research was needed to determine the relationship between pastoral CE and employee engagement to guide policy implementation as well as future efforts for pastoral professional development within the Adventist organization.


This study presents a new theoretical Adventist pastor development model integrating several theories and concepts including: the call, the Seven Core Qualities of an NAD pastor framework, andragogy, CE, SDT, and employee engagement. Employee engagement was measured using Herzberg's hygiene-motivation factor employee engagement theory. Comparisons were conducted on six groups of pastors related to selfreported participation in annual CE.


Major research findings indicate that pastors, perhaps inevitably as humans, are complex, and several factors seem to work synergistically to result in positive hygiene and motivation (employee engagement) scores including: The call, age, having adult children, ethnicity, a combination of CE and age, and a combination of children and CE. Of key importance, increased knowledge and specific life experiences work together to create a more engaged pastor. CE as a stand-alone factor did not have a statistically significant positive impact on hygiene or motivation employee engagement scores based on this data. Factors that have a negative impact on hygiene and motivation scores are family suffering, feeling like leaving ministry, doubting God’s call, ethnicity, and children at home or no children at all, and. The most popular CE activity of Adventist pastors was conventions, the least favorite was creating CE content for peers.


Recommendations for pastoral professional practice are related to five areas of focus: education, CE policy, coaching and mentoring, work environments, and pastoral family supports. Recommendations for future research are specific to four areas: pastoral CE, pastoral development factors, work environments, and family support. More scholarly research on pastors is urgently needed utilizing a factorial approach.

Subject Area

Continuing education; Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy; Employee engagement; Career development; North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists


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