School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Frederick A. Milacci


Pastoral Education, Pastoral Efficacy, Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Tenure, Resiliency in Ministry, Transformational Leadership


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods


In recent years there has been an increased interest in understanding the cultivation of effective pastoral ministry. While much has been written on the dynamics of short-tenure, less attention has been devoted to the dynamics of long-tenure. Why do pastors stay and how do they perceive their efficacy is affected by this? In light of this gap, the purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the lived experience of long-tenured senior pastors. Data was collected by a purposeful sampling of 10 participants and consisted of a combination of documentation, field notes and interviews. Data analysis utilized Moustakas’ methodology in order to develop a thick description of the phenomena, rich with data; with an eye toward what insights participants’ experiences could illume for pastoral education. In the final analysis the results of the study affirmed current research on the resiliency needed to achieve long-tenure in pastoral ministry and extended previous research through the discovery that participants understood the convergence of ministry, tenure and efficacy as a cyclical process sustained by the interconnected experiences of fidelity to the pastoral call and the cultivation of authenticity in community.