Patterson, Sarah Penney. “Shepherd Care: How the Discipline of Spiritual Direction Facilitates Pastors' Relationships with God, their Sense of Call, and their Relationships with Congregations.” D. Min., Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2014.
Pastors' relationships with God, their calls, and their congregations are integral to their ministries. When anyone of these relationships is damaged or left untended, it can cause difficulties in a pastor's spiritual life and even lead to isolation, as pastors don't always have pastors with whom to share their challenges. This study shows how the discipline of spiritual direction can facilitate pastors' relationships with God, their sense of calls, and their perceptions of and interactions with their congregations. In this project I, as a spiritual director, met with six evangelical Protestant pastors, in Toronto, Canada, for an initial interview, six spiritual direction sessions, and a final interview. The narratives emerging from the interviews and reflection forms, completed after each session, demonstrated the value for pastors, even those in relatively healthy churches, of being in spiritual direction with a spiritual director who was sensitive to their role as pastors. The pastors identified spending time with God, hearing His word, engaging in theological reflection, questioning and evaluating their calls, and processing the emotional and spiritual issues in their congregations as some of the ways in which they found spiritual direction particularly helpful. This project provides pastors, church leaders and denominational leaders, particularly in the evangelical Protestant tradition, with examples, including those listed above, of the efficacy of spiritual direction in providing spiritual care for pastors.
Thesis (D. Min.)—Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2014
Table of Contents
Introduction – Theological Rationale – Social Science and Precedent Literature – Methodology – Findings – Conclusion
Tyndale University College & Seminary
Copyright, Sarah Penney Patterson, managed by Tyndale University. All rights reserved.
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