Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Thelma Urbick

Second Advisor

Dr. Beverly Belson

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Brashear


The research objective was to create a descriptive profile of clergypersons who are persisting in career roles as pastors of the Free Methodist Church in Michigan.

An original instrument was administered to 113 male pastors, soliciting biographical data (age, pastoral tenure, educational background, statistical growth of churches served, family background, health and influences in career decisions) and responses to fifty value statements about the pastors' careers. The value statements were applications of ideas from the "Motivation-Hygiene" theory of career satisfaction and more individualized concepts as reinforcers of personal needs.

Attempts to describe the persisting pastors by correlating tenure to their value responses proved negligible (every r =$<$.400). Sixteen variables were created from the biographical data. Using an analysis of variance, groupings within each variable were created to compare responses to the fifty value statements. Because of a large number of items compared, the Bonferroni formula was used to establish statistical significance.

The study demonstrated that the more tenured pastors held stronger career commitments, more traditional loyalties and ministerial perspectives than the newer pastors. More satisfied pastors identified fewer career concerns over management policies, leadership practices and recognition than did the less satisfied pastors. The more satisfied pastors expressed more positive viewpoints of ecclesiastical superiors, congregations and denominational traditions. Seminary graduates reported greater reinforcements than non seminarians from church leaders, peers and congregations. The primary source of pastors was both homes and colleges of the denomination. Pastors and family members had been the persons most influential in career decisions.

In applying results to the motivation-hygiene theory, the dissatisfied pastors appeared on both the hygienic and motivational scales, failing to validate the theoretical concept. Studying the individual needs of pastors, reinforcement issues were crucial distinctions between the satisfied and dissatisfied pastors.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

Included in

Counseling Commons