THE EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF A PASTOR
Singapore Bible College
November 16-20, 2009
Professor: Theresa Clement Tisdale, Ph.D.
The work of Christian ministry has many emotional hazards. These will be examined as they pertain to a pastor’s emotional health. This course is designed to assist pastors (missionaries and other full-time workers) in identifying these psycho-emotional issues as well as the areas of potential weakness, temptation and vulnerability, and to provide resources for dealing with these concerns and issues.
Attention will be given to aspects of the minister’s personal and family life, role expectations and conflicts, anger and depression, guilt and shame, stress and burnout, self-esteem and sexuality. The minister is encouraged to exercise self-care as a means of building his/her resources and reserves, and to learn to set boundaries so that he/she can survive and thrive for the long haul in the ministry.
The course will include lecture, class discussion, small group discussion, as well as one-on-one consultation with the professor.
1. Readings. Students are required to read the standard 3000-page DMin course requirement from the Bibliography. The books in bold are required reading; however, if you have read them already you are allowed to “skip” them but must report that you have read them before. These will not count for the 3000-page requirement. Proceed to read the other books. Specify the books you have read (and the number of pages in each book). Submit a record for all the books read on a one-page paper. Due: November 16, 2009. [10%]
2. Reflection Papers. Write a 5-7 page reflection paper each on the following books: (a) The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen, (b) Going the Distance by Peter Brain, and (c) The Soul of Leadership by Ruth Barton. Due: November 16, 2009
Note: These papers are meant to be personal reflections and constructive critiques rather than a summary of the book. [10% each]
3. A Research Paper: Write a research paper on one of the following topics as it pertains to clergy and/or people in ministry: Dealing with … (a) Depression, (b) Anger, (c) Guilt and Shame, (d) Anxiety, (e) Loneliness, (f) Sexual Issues, (g) Low Self-Esteem, (h) Codependency or (i) Stress and Burnout. (15-20 pages). Due: January 16, 2010; please submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: the paper should include both a discussion of the topic as well as resources for healing. [30%]
4. A Paper on “Personal Wholeness as a Foundation for Ministry.” The focus of this paper is your personal journey toward wholeness. This will include a narrative account of your own healing journey, including a discussion of what have been your prominent struggles and areas of growth, as well as what resources for healing you have sought. Reflections about yourself may be drawn from personality assessments (TJTA, MBTI, DISC, etc.) that you have done and/or from experiences you may have had in any sort of counseling, healing prayer, or spiritual direction. You may also integrate realizations you have had about yourself as a result of any of the books you have read. You may also draw from reflections and realizations you have had about yourself as a result of lectures, class discussions, and/or consultation. In this paper you are to give an honest and realistic appraisal of yourself including your joys and sorrows, strengths and weaknesses, growth and struggles, potential and vulnerabilities. Discuss where you have seen growth as well as where you feel stuck or where you need to grow. Reflect on your past, your present and your future. (12-15 pages). Due: January 30, 2010. [30%]
Note: As this is a highly personal paper, it will be kept strictly confidential.
1. Manning, Brenan & Anderson, Fil. 2005. Running on empty: Contemplative spirituality for overachievers. Waterbrook Press.
2. Anderson, Ray. 2001. The shape of practical theology: Empowering ministry with theological praxis. IVP.
3. Barna, George. 1993. Today’s pastors. Regal Books.
4. Ford, Leighton & Barton, Ruth Haley. 2008. Strengthening the soul of your leadership: Seeking God in the crucible of ministry. IVP.
5. Brain, Peter. 2004. Going the distance: How to stay fit for a lifetime of ministry. Matthias Media.
6. Exley Richard; Galli, Mark & Ortberg, John. 1994. Dangers, toils & snares: Resisting the hidden temptations of ministry (Mastering ministry’s pressure points). Multomah.
7. Buchanan, John & Galloway, John. 2003. Ministry loves company: A survival guide for pastors. WJK Press.
8. Greenfield, Guy. 2001. The wounded minister: Healing from and preventing personal attacks. Baker Books.
9. Hansen, David. 1994. The art of pastoring: Ministry without all the answers. IVP.
10. Kouzes, James, & Posner, Barry. 2008. The leadership challenge. Jossey-Bass.
11. Lamb, Jonathon. 2006. Integrity: Leading with God watching. IVP.
12. Lee, Cameron, & Balswick, Jack. 1989. Life in a glass house: The minister’s family in its unique social context. Zondervan.
13. London, H. B., & Wiseman, Neil. 1993. Pastors at risk: Help for pastors, hope for the church. Victor Books.
14. McBurney, Louis. 1986. Counselling Christian workers. Word Books.
15. McIntosh, Gary & Rima, Samuel. 1998. Overcoming the dark side of leadership: The paradox of personal dysfunction. Baker. OR
16. McIntosh, Gary & Rima, Samuel. 2007. Overcoming the dark side of leadership: How to become an effective leader by confronting potential failures. Baker.
17. Merrill, Dean. 1989. Clergy couples in crisis: The impact of stress on pastoral marriages. Word Books.
18. Nouwen, Henri J. M. 1989. In the name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian leadership. Crossroad.
19. Nouwen, Henri. 1994. The wounded healer: Ministry in contemporary society. Darton, Longman, & Todd.
20. Peterson, Eugene. 1987. Working the angles: Trigonometry for pastoral work. Eerdsman.
21. Dawn, Marva, Santucci, Peter & Peterson, Eugene. 2000. The unnecessary pastor: Rediscovering the call. Regent College Publishing.
22. Prior, Kenneth. 1990. Perils of leadership: Overcoming personal battles. IVP.
23. Rima, Samuel. 2000. Leading from the inside out: The art of self-leadership. Baker.
24. Sciacia, Fran. 1992. Wounded saints: The secrets of Elijah, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Job, Jonah, Jesus and others who triumphed over emotional pain. Baker.
25. Shelley, Marshall. 1988. The healthy, hectic home: Raising a family in the midst of ministry. Word Books.
26. Swenson, Richard, 2004. Margin: Restoring emotional, physical, financial, and time reserves to overloaded lives. NavPress.
27. Swenson, Richard, 1998. The overload syndrome: Learning to live within your limits. NavPress.
28. Ulstein, Stefan.1993. Pastors off the record: Straight talk about life in the ministry. IVP.
29. Willard, Dallas. 2002. Renovation of the heart: Putting on the character of Christ. IVP.
30. Wilson, Michael Todd & Hoffman, Brad. Preventing ministry failure. IVP.
The Emotional Health of a Pastor
1. Ministry: Demands & Hazards
2. Ministry: Roles, Expectations, Pressures & Conflicts
3. Honesty, Authenticity & Integrity in Ministry
4. Theory & Theology of Emotions and Holistic Models of Growth
5. The Pastor & Stress/Burnout
6. The Pastor & Depression
7. The Pastor & Anger
8. The Pastor & Assertiveness
9. The Pastor & Guilt/Shame
10. The Pastor & Loneliness
11. The Pastor & His/Her Sexuality
12. The Pastor & His/Her Marriage/Family
13. The Pastor & His/Her Spirituality
14. The Pastor & Self-Care: Becoming a Wounded Healer
15. Other Concerns & Issues