Young Clergy: A Biographical-Developmental Study

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Haworth Pastoral Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 262 pages
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Five historic ministers—five formative career paths—which path are you on?

According to Daniel Levinson's developmental theory, each person's professional career path forms at the same time in their life, in their 20s and 30s. Young Clergy: A Biographical and Developmental Study applies Levinson's study to ministerial practice, mapping the career patterns of five historical ministers during that time period in each life. The author clearly presents deep psychological insights—supported by solid biographical information on each minister's actions and reactions to challenges—illustrating how the theory holds relevance for young professional clergy even today.

Young Clergy: A Biographical and Developmental Study reviews each minister's “Novice Phase,” where the major tasks of forming a dream, forming mentor relationships, and forming an occupation are presented—and stringently supported by concrete biographical events. The book then shows how this phase leads each from their early adult transition through their entrance into the adult world, and then on to the life-altering events in the “Age 25 Shift” and the “Age 30 Transition.” From there the text reveals the formative “Settling Down Period” through events that unfold between the ages of 33-40. The author discusses how this period determines the subsequent course of each one's career and, more importantly, shapes each one's attitudes, values, and convictions of a life as a minister. Using fascinating biographical information from multiple sources, the author builds a well-reasoned case that no matter how long ago these important men lived, their career patterns and lives hold a wealth of insightful information to help you maximize strengths and minimize liabilities in your own career and life today.

Young Clergy: A Biographical and Developmental Study closely examines these five historical figure's biographies, and reviews each applicable theoretical career path:
  • Phillips Brooks—advancement within a stable life structure
  • Jonathan Edwards—decline or failure within a stable structure
  • John Henry Newman—breaking out—trying for a new structure
  • John Wesley—advancement produces change in life structure
  • Orestes Brownson—unstable life structure

Young Clergy: A Biographical and Developmental Study is an in-depth historical and psychological exploration of the lives of ministers and their relevance for present day clergy, perfect for professors, seminary deans of students, field education directors and their staffs, hospital chaplains involved in vocation issues, young pastors and their pastoral supervisors, and teachers of church history.

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About the author (2005)

Donald Capps is Princeton Theological Seminary's William Harte Felmeth Professor of Pastoral Theology and an ordained minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He is the author of numerous books, including Jesus: A Psychological Biography, Fragile Connections, and Giving Counsel from Chalice Press.

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