WIGGLING THROUGH IT: A COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY ON DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES OF UNITED METHODIST CHURCH SECOND-CAREER CLERGY STUDENTS' ROUTES TO MINISTRY

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Title: WIGGLING THROUGH IT: A COMPARATIVE CASE STUDY ON DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES OF UNITED METHODIST CHURCH SECOND-CAREER CLERGY STUDENTS' ROUTES TO MINISTRY
Author: Hansen-Holloway, Mellinda Gay
Advisors: Dr. Colleen Aalsburg Wiessner, Committee Chair
Dr. Tamara V. Young, Committee Member
Dr. Tuere Bowles, Committee Member
Dr. Julia Storberg-Walker, Committee Member
Abstract: ABSTRACT HANSEN-HOLLOWAY, MELLINDA GAY. Wiggling Through It: A Comparative Case Study on Decision-Making Processes of United Methodist Church Second-Career Clergy Students’ Routes to Ministry. (Under direction of Colleen Aalsburg Wiessner.) The purpose of this research is to better understand how second-career professionals choose between a graduate professional degree and graduate level continuing education in order to purse a new profession. Using Student Choice Construct (Paulsen & St. John, 2002; Perna, 2004) as a lens to examine these choices, the study details the experiences of six second-career clergy student’s beginning with their call to the ministry and concluding with their first appointments as ordained clergy members in the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist Church recognizes two educational tracks, the Masters of Divinity, which is a professional degree, and the Course of Study, which is a continuing education program. Either track can be used to seek Ordination as an Elder in Full Connection, the highest professional standard for the denomination. Based upon the theory of Student Choice Construct (Perna, 2004), it was expected that second-career clergy would base their educational and vocational choices primarily upon their educational, socioeconomic, familial and professional backgrounds. Instead, the second-career clergy students based their choices primarily upon their call experiences and the United Methodist Church’s institutional requirements for ordination. The participants’ educational experiences were impacted by issues of gender and educational, socioeconomic, familial and professional backgrounds. It was also discovered that the formal education of clergy, regardless of the type of program, only provided the clergy with the theological and theoretical background needed for their new careers. The remaining skill sets needed for their new profession was either learned through on-the-job training or was transferred from a prior profession.
Date: 2008-12-08
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5347


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