Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Benjamin D. Schoun

Second Advisor

Robert M. Johnston

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes


There is a great need among pastors for clarification of roles in light of the rapid changes in society and the increased expectation of parishioners that he/she be skilled in an ever widening range of pastoral function. There is also a need for pastors to develop skills in negotiating their roles with the congregation(s) they serve so that differences may be narrowed.

The project includes an extensive review of Old Testament conceptual models (priest, prophet, king, and shepherd) and New Testament orders (apostolate, deaconate, and elder) for the purpose of discerning the biblical foundations for modern pastoral roles. It also includes a survey of the spiritual gifts that are considered leadership gifts (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher) which inform pastoral ministry. The biblical profile of pastoral roles concludes with an observation of how pastoral ministry functioned in the Early Christian Church through the lives and instructions of key leaders like Paul, Peter, Timothy, Titus, and Jesus.

A profile of pastoral roles from current literature was developed which included a study of Samuel Blizzard's important work and that of scholars who built on his research. This part of the project also included a review of the important factors which have resulted in changes in pastoral roles during the past century. The minister's view of appropriate roles is compared with parishioner's expectations and a procedure for negotiating differences in developed. Based upon the survey of literature, eight models of ministry were identified (priest, prophet, king, shepherd, teacher, evangelist, example, and general practitioner) and specifications for each given.

Several important conclusions resulted from the project. Among them is the fact that role clarification is possible through a study of the biblical material instructive of pastoral roles and of current research in this area. It was also discovered that increased knowledge of pastoral roles can result in a mutual improvement of understanding between pastor and parish concerning these roles, which can contribute to reduced conflict regarding the expression and fulfillment of those roles.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy; Church group work

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.


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