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

Arnold Kurtz

Second Advisor

Mercedes Dyer

Third Advisor

Harold Phillips


Since its organization in 1863, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has grown from a small group to a significant religious movement in the world today. Originally all ministers in the church were evangelists. There were to be no "settled" pastors of local congregations. Local churches relied upon local talent selected from their own ranks for pastoral leadership. The change created by increased numbers and the demands of the laity has meant the role of the ordained minister in the local Seventh-day Adventist church has been considerably altered from its original concept. This has caused many to be confused as to just what is the role of the local pastor. The result: pastoral frustration, overload, internal and external conflict, and reduced growth in local churches.

Two factors that may hinder full clarification of the local Seventh-day Adventist pastor's role are: (1) too general an approach, in which leaders and pastors fail to particularize the role to a specific place and group; and (2) a lack of self- examination and assessment on the part of both the pastor and his ^congregation.

This project developed out of the writer's seventeen years of pastoral experience, his interest in the pastoral office, and as a fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree. It is the thesis of this study that considerable conflict and frustration exists among the conference, the local congregation, and the various subgroups within the church concerning their mutual ministries in the church. This project was conceived as an analysis of a local Seventh-day Adventist church's expectations of its pastor in terms of attitudes, work life, and leadership style. It was also designed to suggest a model by which possible role conflict experienced by the pastor may be resolved. This model suggests that the pastor negotiate his role conflicts with his congregation and conference openly rather than keep them to himself. It means that the pastor must initiate the process, make his own self-assessment, and obtain information from his congregation and conference concerning their expectations of him. When this is done the negotiation process may begin. Out of this process a newly created ministry emerges that is mutually agreed upon and is mutually implemented.

The procedure of this study requires five steps of the pastor: (1) he takes an assessment of himself, his goals, talents, skills, and personal strengths and weaknesses; (2) he develops an attitude and a preference data-gathering instrument; (3) he administers the survey to the significant others in his work life, such as the congregation, conference officials and committee members, and fellow ministers; (4) he analyzes the responses to the survey utilizing the latest available devices for determining the significance of disagreement between the respondent groups; and (5) he utilizes the information obtained as a basis for an ongoing negotiative type ministry.

This report describes one pastor's attempt to follow, as far as possible, the above-mentioned steps. The writer, the focal pastor of this study, allows the reader to look over his shoulder as he attempts to obtain a clearer picture of the pastor's role, to discern the sources of expectation in the church, to do a self- assessment, and analyze and interpret responses by his congregation to a questionnaire. The information and skills acquired will be useful to the writer in future pastoral relationships and perhaps to others who may be laboring presently in the pastorate.

Subject Area

Seventh-day Adventists--Clergy; 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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