Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Jeffery Savage, DMin

Second Advisor

Donna Wallace, DMin

Third Advisor

Ken Van Vliet, DMin


The NPO: Pastors and their spouses, of rural, Assemblies of God (AG) churches, need a relational structure for sustainable soul care to maintain a healthy spirituality and ministry. Pastors expend great energy caring for the welfare of others through acts such as teaching, counseling, and visiting. But who provides care for pastors? How can pastors take care of themselves? If the souls of pastors are dry, disordered, and dismayed, their relationship with God and service to the church suffers. Pastors in rural communities, typically in small congregations, face particular challenges, especially from geographical isolation and expectations of church growth. In the AG, many resources for pastors address external ministry performance, but there is lack of attention to their inner lives. Increasing burnout and pastoral attrition reveals the depth of the need for soul care for pastors to maintain a healthy spiritualty and ministry. I am an ordained minister with the AG, serving as a pastor in a rural community and a presbyter in northern Nevada. This project offers a relational model to support rural, AG pastors and their spouses in their own soul care in the midst of ministry. The project contains two main parts represented in the title, with three distinct resources: a cohort, retreat, and seminar. A six-session, remote learning cohort, followed by a weekend, in-person retreat, provides the core of the project to promote the “healthy souls” of pastors. The delivery includes instruction, coupled with discussion and practical exercises, in the context of a community of fellow pastors and spouses, who ideally form a supportive relationship among themselves. A follow-up one-day seminar for leaders in the pastors’ local churches brings these key leaders alongside their pastors to provide “steady hands” that support pastors to make their personal and professional flourishing sustainable long term.

Included in

Christianity Commons