The Relationship of Continuing Professional Education and Pastoral Tenure Among Southern Baptist Pastors
Description: This study examined the relationship between the continuing professional education practices of Southern Baptist pastors and their tenure in their pastoral positions. A survey questionnaire was designed to collect data about the pastors' continuing education and pastoral tenure. A stratified sample of 500 pastors was selected from the 36,235 Southern Baptist churches according to church membership. A total of 217 (43 percent) of the questionnaires was returned and used in the data analysis. Thirty percent of the pastors reported spending no days in continuing education during the past year. Sixty-two percent spent five days or more in continuing professional education. Tenure was not significantly linked to continuing education among the pastors. A personal perception of ministerial competency was positively related to continuing education. The majority of pastors felt accountable to God and themselves in terms of their competency. They strongly resisted any move toward certification or accreditation. The majority of the pastors did not view mobility as an alternative to becoming involved in continuing education. However, the reasons reported for mobility could be interpreted as needs assessment addressed by professional growth. A majority of the pastors strongly agreed that a basic seminary education did not alone prepare a minister for the pastorate. In addition, they were personally committed to being lifelong learners. However, only a small minority had developed a personal strategy for continuing education for the coming year. Neither part-time nor full-time work status nor past formal education influenced the amount of days spent in continuing education. The level of formal education did increase the pastors' commitment to being "lifelong learners." However, there seemed to be missing links between the following: 1) formal ministerial preparation and continuing professional development, 2) mobility and needs assessment, 3) competency and accountability, and 4) a commitment to lifelong learning and a practical strategy ...
Date: August 1986
Creator: Walker, J. Ward
Partner: UNT Libraries