Clergy and Betrayal-Related Stress

  • Author / Creator
    Tracy Alvin Peter Moore
  • The purpose of this study was to reflect on betrayal as experienced by clergy, to discover how they deal with the stress in an effort to find something to help clergy through this kind of crisis in their ministry. As much as 25 % of ministers are forced out of, or fired from, a ministry position during their career. This suggests that betrayal is common. For this study, ten co-researchers were interviewed. Their answers were summarized and common themes were discovered. A literature review also uncovered some themes common for stress in the workplace. The main factors causing stress in ministry can be divided into two categories: work factors and personal factors. Betrayal is a special case of work factors which affect different people according to their personalities or personal factors. Burnout which comes from this stress is a wearing down of values, dignity, spirit and will. Among the factors which seem to be significant to the incidence of betrayal for clergy are: high or conflicting expectations, high idealism among clergy, idolization and simultaneous criticism of clergy by members of the congregations, lack of support for clergy, and personality types vulnerable to betrayal. The impact of betrayal for the co-researchers was found primarily in anger and doubts. Coping with, and healing from, betrayal came for the co-researchers through a combination of practices and philosophies.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts in Pastoral Psychology and Counselling
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    St. Stephen's College
  • Degree level
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Phil Zylia
    • Dr. Wally Frye