The practice of ordained ministry within the contemporary Church of Scotland: Problems of identity, role and function

Macaskill, Donald (1998) The practice of ordained ministry within the contemporary Church of Scotland: Problems of identity, role and function. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This work arises from a premise that the practice of ordained ministry within the Church of Scotland is in a state of 'crisis' and it suggests that this analysis is appropriate. The nature of this crisis is discussed together with institutional reactions thereto. Following a presentation of the concepts of role, identity and the self, consideration is given to the role of the parish minister in Scotland up to the contemporary period. Consideration is given to the changing role of the minister in contemporary Scotland, the issue of professionalisation and the affects of role conflict and uncertainty on the conditions of stress and burnout in ministry. Thereafter analysis of the main aspects of ministerial practice is achieved through means of a postal questionnaire and structured interview technique. Vocational issues of initial vocation, training, priority, worship and theology are examined and discussed, followed by more relational aspects of practice, including, pastoral care, family and spouse relationships, women in ministry, congregation and collegial relationship and most particularly the minister's self- understanding and self care. In each of these areas it is suggested that the contemporary practice of ministry is evidencing disease and distress and that such a practice vitiates a resolution of the perceived 'crisis' of identity and role. Nevertheless it remains clear that for the majority of parish ministers the functions of worship leadership, particularly preaching and pastoral care remain dominant within their self-conception of their role and identity. A relational, social trinitarian theology of ministry is advanced together with the model of minister as human friend. Both emphasise and concentrate on the relational dynamics of ministry. It is argued that there needs to be an examination of the relationship between function and being in ministry, together with a re-conceptualisation of the nature of ordination, the role of the sacraments in ordained ministry and the relationship between the ordained and the whole people of God. Recommendations are offered for both institutional and theological change to encourage the development of a ministerial practice and theology which concentrates and affirms the relational dimension of parish ministry.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Church of Scotland, clergy, religion.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1998
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1998-71357
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 16:24
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.71357

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