School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Charlie Davidson, David W. Hirschman


Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Self-Care Strategies Vicarious Trauma


Christianity | Other Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Ministry means more than just pastoral duties within the context of the church. Those in ministry, and particularly those in ‘direct-care’ positions working in residential treatment facilities in childcare face a plethora of issues that can be mentally, emotionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually taxing. This project will provide biblically based engaging, edifying, encouraging, and equipping ministries the necessary skills to enable those who are in ‘Direct-Care’ positions to develop ‘self-care’ practices to address these issues. This thesis will investigate the causes and effects that impact those in ‘direct-care’ ministry to experience disillusionment, discouragement, depression, despair, defeat, and/or departure from ministry. In addition, the thesis will identify the ‘self-care’ practices that those in ‘direct-care’ ministries and their families can employ to remain successful in their ministries. This thesis will be developed using existing research on the causes and effects, the steps to avoid ministry failure, online surveys with those in ‘direct-care’ ministry and non-recorded interviews with professionals, and related sources and current data.