Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Burnout, Friendship, Intimacy, Self-Care, Spiritual Disciplines, Wholistic
McClanahan, James, "Pastoral Self-Care: Developing a Burnout-Resistant Approach to Life and Ministry" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1692.
According to a recent Lifeway survey of 1500 Southern Baptist pastors, over half surveyed struggled with discouragement. Many pastors struggle to maintain emotional health while facing the challenges of their ministry. This project will reveal how practicing a balanced Christian life, developing intimate relationships, and implementing a theology of self-care can minimize the likelihood of burnout. The project will develop a theology for resisting burnout that can be used as a tool for a pastor’s personal edification, as a study between two pastors, or as a discussion in a pastor’s fellowship. Through a review of applicable biblical passages, current scholarly literature, and fifteen interviews with pastors in small and medium size churches, the author will provide a manual with key principles for developing a resilient life and a healthy approach to pastoral ministry.