Making a difference: Professional socialization and practice of the clergy
AuthorRunion, David George
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMaking a Difference: Professional Socialization and Practice of the Clergy is a reflection upon pastoral preparation and practice within the Church. This case study of ministerial graduates of Nazarene Theological Seminary and Nazarene Bible College seeks to understand, first, how these institutions envision and propose to prepare their students for professional practice in the ministry and, secondly, to understand how this preparation has affected the practice of their graduates in the models of ministry graduates utilize, the relationships to authority which they employ, and the professional mobility which they find within the practice of their ministry and the hierarchy of the Church of the Nazarene. The structure of the analysis grows out of the work of Wilcox (1982). As a reproduction theorist, she found that differing educational systems socialized their students in ways that maintain inequalities by teaching different kinds of skills, preparing students for differing relationships to authority, and creating different expectations about their future roles as adults. This structure was applied to two professional schools of clergy preparation. A document analysis was oeutilized to investigate the impact of professional theological education upon the practice of the clergy. Skill development was not found to be significantly influenced by institutional socialization. Relationships to authority were somewhat related to institutional patterns and expectations. Mobility and opportunity were highly influences by institutional type. Reproduction theory was found to be helpful in explaining professional socialization but not complete. The power of the workplace and an understanding of professional education as certification into differing levels of the profession were also useful in explaining the findings. At its essence, this research tried to answer the desire of all educators to know if their work effects practice and, importantly, if that effect has had a liberating and positive impact or a limiting impact on their students. This understanding may provide a basis for the revision of mission statements, expectations, and patterns of socialization within educational institutions and may provide a clearer understanding for future students of the power of professional preparation to expand or limit their practice within the field.
Degree ProgramGraduate College