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Divine CallingsUnderstanding the Call to Ministry in Black Pentecostalism$
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Richard N. Pitt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814768235

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814768235.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 25 February 2021

“A Stutter and a Stick”

“A Stutter and a Stick”

The (Non-) Value of Educational Credentialing

(p.107) 4 “A Stutter and a Stick”
Divine Callings

Richard N. Pitt

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on the ways in which these ministers legitimate their sense of themselves as clergy in spite of a nearly complete absence of what we have come to believe is an essential feature of religious credentialing: Bible school, divinity school, or seminary training. The respondents assert that their special competence as ministers comes not from any particular training (which they often deride) but instead through what they call “the anointing.” The chapter describes how ministers explain this anointing, detailing the complex ways they say the anointing operates within them as a resource, rendering their lack of seminary training irrelevant. It also demonstrates how many of these ministers denigrate educational credentialing as an illegitimate means of certifying one's calling, thereby claiming less easily challenged evidence of their position as religious laborers.

Keywords:   seminary training, educational credentialing, the anointing, religious laborers, clergy

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