The identification of essential components for equipping pastors' wives for ministry
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SubjectSpouses of clergy.
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This dissertation identifies the factors pastors' wives deem necessary to consider themselves equipped for serving in ministry in North America's churches. Initially, this study defines leadership and the title "Pastor's wife." This study further explains the variances of the meaning of the role of a pastor's wife respective to an individual's ministry context. Yet, in spite of the variances of the role of the pastor's wife, all roles are still deemed that of leadership due to the pastor's wife's influence relationship with the congregation. An analysis of scriptural accounts showing the presence of a wife as a prerequisite for becoming a pastor informs this study that the pastor's wife has an important role as her presence is repeatedly mentioned. This study examines the male pastors' formal education in preparation for full-time ministry, while observing the pastors' wives' levels of education in preparatory training toward the area of ministry in which they are to work. A survey instrument was developed to identify what factors pastors' wives deem as essential for equipping them to function optimally in their ministry roles. Results from this survey demonstrated that the reoccurring factors that pastors' wives deem essential in order for them to feel equipped in their positions of ministry as a pastors' wives include fostering personal relationships, encountering spiritual growth, and obtaining educational/equipping experiences. Hence, suggestions for further study would include developing curriculum that would educationally cater to future and present pastors' wives who have the desire to become equipped in their ministry roles in the respective context of their local churches. Additionally, the combined dynamic of support and relationship building time alongside educational time investment is recommended based on instrumentation results so that pastors' wives may assess themselves as more equipped for ministry.