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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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Legitimating New Understandings of Ministry and the Clergy

Legitimating New Understandings of Ministry and the Clergy

(p.213) 7 Legitimating New Understandings of Ministry and the Clergy
Divine Callings

Richard N. Pitt

NYU Press

This concluding chapter considers the ongoing expansion of the boundaries of the cleric's vocational identity, which has made the attributes that might mark the clergy as a profession more ambiguous. There was already evidence to support the fact that many clergy are not seminary trained, that many are either bivocational or not serving as congregational leaders, and that there are women (and men) doing ministry at very high levels who are not ordained. Yet, many who study religion from a social-scientific viewpoint suffer a kind of myopia when it comes to clergy. Studies of clergy are still drawn almost exclusively from three places: seminary rolls, lists of congregational heads, and denominational ordinand listings. The chapter encourages researchers to expand their definitions of the clergy in order to fully appreciate how the cultural conceptions of the ministerial role are produced, reproduced, and understood.

Keywords:   vocational identity, clergy, clerical profession, social science, ministry, ministerial role

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