Date of Award

Fall 9-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Jamale Kempt, DMin

Second Advisor

Winford Amos, DMin

Third Advisor

Andru Morgan


This research examines the phenomenon of “clergy deafness” among contemporary faith leaders. The term clergy deafness was developed for this work to encapsulate the reported unawareness of a theological and personal value for listening in the life and vocation of clergy leaders. Three elements: a lack of listening theology, performance-based identity, and noisy western soundscapes, appear to produce a cumulative effect of clergy deafness. This listening weakness results in the construction of isolating soundscapes for clergy leaders. An overall rubric for resolving clergy deafness is offered which frames clergy listening as a praxis of belief. Following the data, a prescriptive model of theological friendship is presented for repairing clergy listening. The most common causes of clergy deafness are outlined, followed by critique of contemporary approaches for repairing clergy listening weakness. A case study constructed as the Sacramento Theological Friendship Project is offered to ground the theories of this research. The resulting analysis argues that the practice of theological friendship offers an effective remediation strategy for clergy deafness.

Included in

Christianity Commons