Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Barnett College of Ministry & Theology


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. Christine Corbett

Second Advisor

Dr. Donald Immel

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim P. Vigil


Ministerial leaders carry an abundance of responsibility in innumerable areas while simultaneously managing life-threatening crises at the same time. They provide pastoral care for those they serve in addition to overseeing a plethora of areas such as discipleship, program development, fundraising, and conflict management. Pastoral leaders often keep unhealthy and unsustainable schedules and receive inadequate compensation particularly in comparison to their professional counterparts. The weight of the ministry alone lends itself to stress and burnout if the leader is not careful to maintain adequate self-care. If unaddressed trauma is present along with all of the stressors commonly found in the life of a ministerial leader, it can profoundly affect not only the leader but the church, ministry, or organization as a whole. Essentially, it can prove to be too much to bear and effect every area of a leader’s life, to their demise as well as those they lead and the church, ministry or organization they serve. The overarching goal of this project is to answer the research question: What are pastoral care-oriented steps in caring for the unaddressed trauma in the lives of ministry leaders? The research question is answered through quantitative and qualitative studies as well as the utilization of biblical and theological resources to create a pathway to living and leading from a place of wellness through a pastoral care resource for ministerial leaders.