Significant mentoring relationships in ministerial education Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/gf06g5892

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  • The purpose of this study was to describe and explain significant mentor/protege relationships in professional ministry education. Through an exploratory, naturalistic inquiry, the mentoring phenomenon was studied inductively, culminating in a descriptive theory that illuminated the variables and their interrelationships on the ministerial campus. The multiple case study design accommodated ten mentoring pairs from three graduate level seminaries in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area. Data were collected through several in-depth interviews and a written questionnaire. The findings indicated that the relationships were the product of three dimensions in a dynamic, evolving interaction: interpersonal factors, intrapersonal factors, and contextual factors. Additionally, each dimension brought a mix of variables which, when present, gave rise to the formation, development, and outcomes of mentor/protege relationships. Pre-existing personal factors were mediated by entry conditions, and further influenced by aspects of the social and institutional setting. The relationships developed through a uniform progression of five stages, with each stage moving through a transitional characteristic making possible the formation of the next level of interaction. Common relationship qualities were evident, as were mentoring functions which enhanced or enabled the achievement of personal growth or ministerial competence. Personal motives and selection criteria were significant in the formation and timing of the relationships. Individual differences were acknowledged, but were tempered by the commitment to one another and to the relationships. The influence of significant others, as well as the institutional environment were described. Benefits for students, faculty, and institutions were identified.
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