The adjunctification of United Methodist part-time local pastors : a case study of part-time local pastors in the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church
The issue this dissertation addresses is that the fastest growing population of clergy leaders in The United Methodist Church (UMC) are local pastors who are generally not seminary degreed, ordained, or guaranteed employment. And yet, the employment and effectiveness of these local pastors, primarily part-time, is not researched or understood in the context of leadership needs in the 21st century Church. To address this problem, the purpose of this qualitative case study is to understand the unique professional experiences and labor conditions of part-time local pastors (PTLP's) in isolated, rural, and declining communities within the Mountain Sky Conference (MSC) of The UMC. To gather data, artifact review, demographic surveys, and Zoom interviews were conducted with eight part-time local pastors from the Mountain Sky Conference. The data lead to the following themes: types and unique leadership of PTLP's, unique contextual labor conditions, and professional resources needed. These themes are useful for understanding that many of the professional and institutional benefit systems in which PTLP's operate are forged and framed for full-time, lifelong ordained clergy. They need to be adjusted for the unique types of PTLP's and their unique ministry settings.
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