Project Documents

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Steven P. Vitrano

Second Advisor

Donald C. Jacobsen

Third Advisor

James D. Chase


Problem. Although the local conference ministerial association secretary of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America has been designated as the "pastor's pastor," relatively little study has been given to the meaning and job description implied by this title. The goal of this study, therefore, was to discover from a broad sampling of ministers, ministerial association secretaries, and conference presidents their perceptions concerning the role of this office, and to compile from this and related data a role description for the office of conference ministerial association secretary in North America.

Method. Informal and formal interviews with 93 ministers, some of whom were ministerial secretaries and conference presidents, produced the content of a questionnaire dealing with the role of the conference ministerial association secretary in North America. This questionnaire was sent to a random sampling of 326 ministers, all conference ministerial association secretaries, and all conference presidents in the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. In addition to the above, the writer corresponded with other denominations and searched the Scriptures seeking data and principles relative to a ministry-to-ministers.

Results. The respondents perceived the ministerial association secretary as of equal or greater importance than the secretaries of the departments of the conference such as "Lay Activities" or "Sabbath School." They further perceived the need for a ministerial association secretary who would share with then on a personal level not only the needed skills of ministry but "personal encouragement" as well. They reacted negatively to the ministerial association secretary as "administrator" and positively to those categories which saw him as a "pastor's pastor" to the Seventh-day Adventist ministry.

Conclusions. It was concluded that a ministerial association secretary functioning as a "ministry-to-ministers" is needed at the local conference level. On the basis of these findings and related research, a role description for the conference ministerial association secretary in North America was developed.

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