Allen LeeFollow




School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Lisa S Sosin


Authenticity, Boundaries, Clergy Family Contentment, Clergy Vocational Longevity, Intentionality, Support


Christianity | Counseling | Counselor Education | Religion


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the experiences and the perceptions that affect family contentment and longevity of ministry for clergy families who are currently active in Christian ministry; in particular, those that may affect family contentment and longevity of ministry. Of particular interest was the clergy family’s perception of the phenomenon of living as a unit within the vocational context of Christian ministry. Data were collected using digitally recorded and transcribed semi-structured interviews. Likewise, personal journals were submitted and transcribed, adding to the data. Two clergy families consisting of specifically a male clergy member, his clergy spouse, and two adult children of the said clergy member were interviewed individually to determine their individual and familial experiences of pastoral ministry. Participants identified contentment as developing from genuine interactions with their families that were consistent at church and at home. They also recognized the importance of family unity, as supported by intentional parenting and the formation of protective family boundaries. In addition, participants revealed that maintaining healthy support systems plays a part in family contentment. It is hoped that these results would illustrate how an effective balancing of the clergy’s call to family and ministry can lead to greater efficacy in both areas.