First Advisor

Loyde W. Hales

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership and Policy




Clergy -- Office -- Evaluation, Clergy -- United States, Clergy -- Canada



Physical Description

3, x, 217 leaves 28 cm.


Purpose. This study was designed to explore possible relationships between the levels of job satisfaction, the stages of adult development, especially as defined by Levinson, and the type and extent of formal educational preparation for pastoral ministry. The primary assumption was that higher levels of education enable the pastor to move through the progressive stages of adult development with a higher level of career satisfaction. Procedure.The data were obtained through a survey of the pastors of the western judicatories of the seven denominations which are in trustee relationship with Western Evangelical Seminary. A three-part questionnaire was developed, including the Ministerial Job Satisfaction Scale developed by J. Conrad Glass (1976), and the Assessment of Developmental Issues developed by J. Ta1ifero Brown (1985). Questionnaires were mailed, and 279 were analyzed. Summary of Findings and Conclusions. Analysis of Part I of the questionnaire provided a profile of this clergy sample, including data on age, sex, educational levels, involvement in continuing education, pastoral experience before and after completion of formal education, growth patterns of church and community, ordination status, worship attendances, pastoral position, career changes, desired retirement age, and career satisfaction. Data from Parts II and III were combined with the Part I profile to answer six research questions. The following findings and conclusions were identified: (a) the Master of Divinity was the degree of preference and resulted in higher levels of satisfaction than the M.A. from a seminary; (b) adult development is related to chronological age but not education; (c) chronological age, divided into Levinson's stages worked equally well as the ADIS scale in identifying the adult life cycle stage. Three concerns were expressed: (a) there is a need for adequate staffing, especially in smaller churches, both volunteer and professional; (b) good work was recognized by denominational supervisors, but it was not accompanied by adequate assurance of career advancement; (c) nearly one-fourth of the clergy felt their wives would rather not be married to a minister.


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