Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Barnett College of Ministry & Theology


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. Tom Mullins

Second Advisor

Dr. Jason Burns

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim Vigil


Today’s pastoral leader must balance more competing priorities than ever before. Pastors are responsible for strategic planning, providing excellent messages, developing a staff or ministry team, overseeing finances, and building ministries to meet the needs of their flocks and communities. Many times, the demands of pastoral leadership, especially in a growing church environment, can be so consuming that the family of the pastor pays the price. Pastors’ children who grow up in such a leadership environment face their own additional pressures and extra challenges. This project explores the question “What are the challenges of growing up as a pastor’s child in a growing church environment in a church in America today; and what are the best practices of pastoral parents in such a setting as seen by their second-generation ministry leadership children?” The research question is answered by a qualitative study involving a focus group of adult children of pastors who are now serving in significant leadership ministry roles. The focus group explores the challenges of growing up in a pastor’s home, the importance of a personal calling in the life of pastor’s children and best practices for pastoral parents.