United Methodist Church--Clergy

To Be Loved or God's Beloved, What Defines a Pastor's Identity?

Author
Daniel S Hagan
Abstract
There exists for a pastor a tension between being loved by the people and living as God's Beloved. Expectations of the congregation do not always line up with the clergypersons' own sense of calling and perceived gifts and graces. Research included an ethnographic study, featuring both an auto-ethnographic aspect that considers the emerging relationship of pastor and congregation and interviews with congregational leaders and United Methodist clergypersons within South Georgia. Learning from Henri Nouwen, pastors can remain grounded in their true identity, Belovedness, through the four movements of the Eucharist: being taken, blessed, broken, and given.

Clergy leadership development exploring factors in the leadership development process of United Methodist clergywomen

Author
Mary B Henley
Abstract
This project was a collective case study designed to discover factors associated with the leadership development of three effective United Methodist clergywomen. The researcher conducted a biblical review of female prophets from the Bible, in particular, from the Old Testament. Grounded in positive psychology, four developmental areas framed the inquiry into the leadership development process, each representing an area of identity work. A close-ended survey and open-ended interview protocol were used. Five major themes emerged as factors in the leadership development process of these clergywomen: (1) vision; (2) prayer practice; (3) strengths; (4) mentors and (5) intentional community.

Strengthening the connection: using liberation theology to affirm the call and inform the ministry of pastors serving the local church

Author
LaWanda Ann Hitt
Abstract
This project argues for teaching Liberation Theology, as a logical heir of Wesleyan Theology, to Local Pastors & Ministry Candidates in the UMC, in order to improve their preaching, teaching and evangelism, and to strengthen their response to the stressors of ministry. Surveys were taken regarding the prevalence of problems encountered by Pastors in the Central Texas Conference in the areas of Theology, Leadership, Authority and/or "Other."

An account of our stewardship: assessing Christian character from a Wesleyan perspective in ministry candidates in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
Joseph T Burkhardt
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover the extent to which the interview process of District Committees on Ordained Ministry (dCOMs) in the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church integrates historical Wesleyan marks of Christian character in the assessment of ministry candidates. The project design was to distribute an online survey to all East Ohio Conference dCOM members in February 2015. The project revealed that dCOMs regularly inquire of ministry candidates about their experience of conversion, and tend to prefer more subjective expressions of personal faith journeys over more traditional Wesleyan understandings of justification.

Healthy body, healthy spirit: addressing the clergy health crisis through caring for the body as a temple of the holy

Author
Scott L.F Gallagher
Abstract
Healthy body, healthy spirit focuses attention on the clergy health crisis not as a matter of financial distress to the local church, but as an issue of our losing the connection between the body, mind, and the spirit. Failure to properly take care of and appreciate the physical body, the Temple of the Divine, has played a role in the lost effectiveness of clergy and the lost vitality of the local church. During a period of six months, clergy from the Greensburg District of the Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church improved their physical health and their ministry.

A discovery study of behaviors Indiana United Methodist pastors believe vital for numerical growth in the church

Author
Robert Bradley Miller
Abstract
What are the behaviors that Indiana United Methodist pastors believe necessary to achieve necessary to achieve church growth? This study determined through surveys, interviews, and research behaviors these pastors believed effective for church growth and the application of these behaviors in the church. The most important discovery that the author made was the state of disconnect among many pastors between what they believed about church growth and what was practiced in the local church. This state of disconnect may be a factor in church decline. A Reframing of Wesleyan theology and practice was offered as a response.

Called to order: a study of ordination and authority in regard to administrative leadership among United Methodist pastors

Author
Brian K White
Abstract
This project attempts to answer the question: "Do United Methodist pastors see administrative tasks as being an important part of pastoral ministry, does this vary for ordained and non-ordained clergy, and if there are differences how are they expressed in perceptions and priorities?" Pastors in two districts of the United Methodist Church were surveyed with follow-up interviews regarding their perceptions and practices around duties listed under "order" in The United Methodist Book of Discipline. Comparisons and contrasts in thinking are identified between ordained and non-ordained clergy. Data collected indicates that ordination is not the primary factor in shaping pastor's perceptions and practices about administrative tasks but that, for many clergy, appointment by the bishop is the significant motivating factor in ordering the church.

Preparing clergy and congregation for cross-cultural/cross racial appointments in the Iowa conference of the United Methodist Church

Abstract
The United Methodist Church encourages cross-cultural/cross-racial ministry as a way of celebrating human diversity. In this denomination, many clergy serve the church beyond their cultures and ethnicity through cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments. Iowa is one of the conferences with a good representation of clergy from ethnic minority groups. This project critically assesses the effectiveness of the current process of preparing both congregations and pastors for cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments in Iowa. It involves the experience of pastors, congregations and district superintendents through questionnaires and group discussions to identify cross-cultural/cross-racial issues and provide suggestions for effective pastoral leadership in the Iowa Conference of the UMC.

Insider/outsider -- a cycle of discrimination: a perspective of an African-American clergywoman in the United Methodist Church

Author
Travia Lynnett Speer
Abstract
Discrimination is a dilemma that marginalized African-American clergywomen face within United Methodism. This project examines the history and practices of the United Methodist Church, as well as the discriminatory practices that have been perpetuated by the Black church (within the Central Jurisdiction and within United Methodism). The aim of this project is to present a new paradigm of engagement that will help the United Methodist Church live into its proclamations of inclusivity and Christian love. The methodology used within this report is qualitative and, in more narrow sense, auto-ethnographic.

The tie that binds: clergy mentoring in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
Mark D Conforti
Abstract
Mentoring is a vital component for a pastor's formation, especially for young pastors. The author created a formal clergy mentoring program consisting of eleven dyads. He recruited the participants, commenced program training, and conducted feedback using written forms and interviews. The clergy mentoring program sufficiently demonstrated the value of clergy mentoring. Eight of the eleven mentoring relationships successfully brought about fruit within the mentees and their ministry settings. The academic research combined with the clergy mentoring program to uncover the elements of a fruitful mentoring relationship, including the roles of the mentor and mentee.
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