Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Ron Hawkins

Primary Subject Area

Religion, General


Clergy, Education


There has been little study focused upon the role of the pastor's personal growth and how it may relate to growth or the lack thereof in the local church. Although the problem of ministerial competence as a whole can not be fully addressed in the limited scope of this project, it is this writer's contention that much of the plateau in church growth experienced in Southern Baptist Churches today may be predicated by the lack of ministerial training in the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention as a whole. It is the intent of this project to determine if there is the probability of a causal link between a pastor's personal growth through study and how this impacts growth in the local church he serves. This project demonstrates that relationship by results of ACP reports from churches served by fifty-one pastors in the West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists, serving their churches for a two or more year period, who responded to the initial survey presented herein. The results provide evidence that pastors pursuing further educational opportunities were more likely to be serving in churches that were growing, even in areas where there was a population decline.