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

Douglas R. Kilcher

Third Advisor

C. Raymond Holmes



Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) pastors fill increasingly complex job expectations in the 1990s. Many pastors perceive they suffer from greater stressors than have any other generation of SDA pastors. Many claim burnout is hurting their job performance. It is the purpose of this study to measure the perceived levels of burnout among a cross section of SDA pastors in Southeastern California Conference of SDA (SECCSDA), plan and initiate an intervention to treat the symptoms of burnout, and analyze the effectiveness of the intervention.


An original perception-test instrument was used to measure the perceived feelings of burnout among approximately eighty SDA pastors in southern California at a "workers' meeting" of all SDA pastors in the SECCSDA. Demographic data was also gathered by means of the test instrument in order to compare various factors and their apparent effect on perceptions of burnout. Six pastors from three selected sectors of the pastoral working force were then invited to a three-day intervention: a "Spiritual Disciplines Retreat" conducted by the author of this project report. Follow-up testing of both retreat participants and non-retreat pastors from the same three selected sectors was performed and the results compared to test the theory that an intervention of this nature would reduce perceived levels of burnout among SDA pastors.


Though based upon a sample too small to make generalized predictions, a trend of decrease in perceived levels of burnout was recorded among those participating in the retreat as compared with those pastors not participating.


It would appear that though the practice of spiritual disciplines does affect the perceived level of burnout in SDA pastors, other factors also contribute to their overall well-being. It also seems evident that the variables which contribute to the burnout perceptions of SDA pastors are so wide-ranging that to single out non-practice of the spiritual disciplines as a major predictor of burnout would be unwise.

Subject Area

Clergy--Job stress; Clergy--Counseling of; Spiritual retreats for clergy

Creative Commons License

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

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