|Abstract or Summary
- The conceptual foundations of the study emerged from a review of
the literature, suggesting that a serious gap exists between clergy
and laity in terms of ministerial expectations. This gap has been
attributed in part to a growing estrangement between seminaries and
the churches they serve.
Thus, the central problem addressed was that of identifying the
extent to which seminary faculty and church lay leaders are congruent
in their perceptions of those professional competencies which are
important to pastoral ministry.
Four additional avenues of investigation were pursued. First,
evidence was sought to determine what, if any, differences exist
among seminary faculty themselves with regard to the kinds of preparation
pastors need. Second, a comparison was made of the perceptions
of senior seminary students with those of church lay leaders. Third,
useful data were sought regarding the impact of seminary training on
seniors by comparing faculty and senior perceptions of competencies. Finally, the data were subjected to factor analysis to isolate clusters
of common competencies as perceived by the respondents in the three
A 70-item questionnaire, containing statements of pastoral competencies,
was constructed through a modified Delphi process and
administered to three randomly sampled populations. The three sample
groups (of equal size, N = 50) represented faculty members of two
Conservative Baptist seminaries, senior pastoral students from the
same seminaries, and lay leaders from regionally stratified Conservative
Baptist churches nationwide. The 150 respondents indicate on
a five-point Likert-type scale the importance they attributed to each
of the seventy pastoral competencies. The data were analyzed by means
of one-way and two-way analysis of variance and factor analysis
The one-way analysis of variance revealed a significant difference
between faculty and lay leaders on 18 of the 70 competencies and
between seminary seniors and lay leaders on 20 of the 70 items. Little
difference existed between seminary faculty and seniors. Both faculty
and senior perceptions reflected greater openness to pastoral leadership
for change and innovation than did those of lay leaders.
Seniors also rated more highly competencies related to social, civic
and political involvement. While noting these differences, the
evidence of this study did not substantiate the serious gap between
faculty or students and lay leaders suggested in the literature.
The two-way analysis of variance disclosed that seminary faculty members are a highly homogeneous population in terms of their perceptions
of pastoral ministry. Concerns expressed in the literature of
faculty ranks divided along lines of practical pastoral experience
and teaching fields were not supported by the evidence of this study.
The 150 respondents attached the greatest importance to the
inter-personal dimension of pastoral ministry, as measured by the
mean score ranking of the competency items.
The R-mode factor analysis generated a five-factor solution.
The five factors were:
I - Interpersonal Skills.
II - Specialized Ministry and Functional Skills.
III - Personal Scholarship and Intellectual Capabilities.
IV - Management of Personnel and Programs.
V - Leadership, Participation, and Awareness at National,
Community, and Extra-Church Levels.
These clusters were regarded as meaningful categories that can
form the bases for developing curricula in pastoral training programs.
1. Similar studies be done, including a population sample of practicing
2. Additional longitudinal research studies be conducted to measure
the impact of seminary faculty on the formation of students'
expectations of pastoral ministry.
3. The'findings regarding the importance of interpersonal skills be
carefully considered in the evaluation and planning of seminary
4. Research similar to this study should be carried out with additional
populations (other than Baptist) to confirm the finding
of this study across a broader representation of the church at large.