Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Chuck Conniry

Second Advisor

Dick Sartwell


There is no higher calling in the Christian life than the call to serve as a spiritual leader within the body of Christ (pastor, music minister, missionary, etc.). While many of these leaders are functioning quite well in their respective ministries today, many others are leaving vocational ministry at an alarming rate. In section one of this document, an attempt will be made to identify some of the key factors that contribute to this current clergy crisis. A significant number of support services have emerged in recent years in an attempt to address the problem of clergy burnout. Section two will provide a brief overview of these existing resources, an honest appraisal of their value in reducing the impact of clergy burnout, and careful consideration of potential opportunities for forging ongoing partnerships. Section three will offer a theoretical framework for specific proposals designed to reverse this pattern of premature departure from public ministry, supported by evidence gleaned from a variety of academic disciplines. It is the thesis of this author that providing opportunities for spiritual leaders to experience personal and professional renewal, in the context of a supportive Christian community, will reduce the impact of burnout and help these men and women sustain effective, lifelong ministry in and through the body of Christ. In section four, a modest proposal is presented for alleviating the impact of burnout among spiritual leaders through the development of a Center for Spiritual Renewal at Barclay College. The specific details of this project are outlined in section five, including a description of the project's target audience, goals, strategies and budget, as well as considerations for the ongoing maintenance, promotion and evaluation of such a program. The sixth and final section of this document provides an opportunity for reflection and assessment following the initial implementation of the project and offers suggestions for further research and development.

Included in

Christianity Commons