Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Allen England


Domestic Violence, Evangelical, Seminary, Ministry Leadership, Continuing Education


Adult and Continuing Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this interpretive phenomenological study was to explore the perceptions of adequacy experienced when ministering to domestic violence impacted congregants for evangelical pastors in southwestern Pennsylvania. Perceptions of adequacy when ministering to congregants experiencing domestic violence have been generally defined as a perception of adequate preparedness through education for ministering to the intricate needs of the family crisis of domestic violence. The theory that guided this study was van Manen’s (1997, 2014) interpretive phenomenological method of qualitative study as it was the method used by Zuet et al (2017) in a study of the feelings of adequacy for domestic violence ministry experienced by seminary educated evangelical pastors in the midwestern United States. This method was used because it has been used in similar studies, Zust et al (2017) and Spencer-Sandolph (2020), and because it allowed the researcher to explore the perceptions of pastors while analyzing data for underlying themes that also contributed to these perceptions. Qualitative study was chosen because it was words that were collected, meanings that were discovered, and thoughts and feelings that were underlying that were expressed and analyzed. Answering the questions of pastoral experience in seminary education, its impact on pastoral preparedness for ministering to domestic violence survivors, policies and procedures implemented, and what belief systems emerged as underpinning pastoral views on family violence were best done through open-ended, lengthy interviews that gave the pastors time to answer. The conversational method of the interview process allowed the interviewer to follow trails of thought and feelings as they emerged and yielded various themes and subthemes. Underlying meanings and beliefs systems were also identified.