Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)
burnout, clergy, pastor, leadership, self-perception, emotional exhaustion, role, conflict, skills assessment, personal attributes
O'Donnell, Joseph Francis, "Methodist Pastoral Retention: A Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship Between Clergy Burnout and Self-Perceived Leadership Attributes." (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4448.
This study targeted pastoral burnout symptomology and its relationship to self-perceived leadership attributes. Pastors experience a professional environment that call for ministering to their congregation's spiritual needs; however, additional social and business responsibilities often exist for which the pastor is poorly trained or improperly supported. These situations may cause high levels of stress and anxiety, challenging a pastor's self-perception of their leadership attributes. Eventually, this condition could promote the onset of burnout, which might compel the pastor to leave the ministry. As such, this research sought to establish whether a relationship exists between self-perceived leadership attributes and ministerial burnout for licensed, ordained, or lay clergy (n = 100) serving a congregation of 250 or fewer individuals in the Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia, and Alabama - West Florida Conferences of the United or Global Methodist Church. The design used in this study was a quantitative correlational approach, which determined the degree of relationship between self-perceived leadership attributes and burnout symptomology. The independent variable was self-perceived leadership attributes, measured across five clusters (Drive, Organization, Trust, Interpersonal, and Tolerance) utilizing the Leader Attributes Inventory. The dependent variable was burnout symptomology, measured across three dimensions (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and satisfaction in ministry) employing the Francis Burnout Inventory. The Spearman Rho Correlation Coefficient and Ordinal Regression comprised the IBM-SPSS data analysis. The results indicate a weak, yet statistically significant relationship exists between self-perceived leadership attributes and reported levels of burnout.