Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Donald Q Hicks


church conflict, Church health data, Church investigation process, pastoral leadership, Pastor search, Prospective pastor


Christianity | Practical Theology | Religion


It is commonly acknowledged by both clergy and laity that a problem exists in the Southern Baptist Convention concerning both the length of pastoral tenure and the number of forced terminations of ministerial staff. Solutions have been proposed but little measurable change has been forthcoming. Much has been written about conflict resolution, communication between staff and lay leadership and realistic expectations. However well-intended these efforts may be, the statistics seem to indicate little or nothing has changed. This project intends to evaluate the pastor-search process from the perspective of the pastoral candidate. Churches make efforts to evaluate and investigate candidates for ministerial staff positions, but the candidate is forced to rely on personal relationships, Associational Directors of Missions--one of whose major concerns is filling the pulpits of associational churches--state convention personnel and data to investigate a prospective church. In this study, pastors engage in self-evaluation from a variety of perspectives and tools in the form of a manual are supplied to enable a pastoral candidate to objectively determine whether a particular church will mesh with his unique personality, gifts and leadership style with the result of achieving a better match between pastor and church at the outset and, ultimately, longer tenure and fewer terminations.