Leaving the Adventist Ministry: A Study of the Process of Exiting

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999 - Religion - 236 pages

More than 180 pastors exited the Seventh-Day Adventist ministry in Australia and New Zealand between 1980 and 1988--a loss that is equivalent to 40 percent of the total annual Adventist ministerial workforce in those two countries. This volume examines the processes whereby conservative and committed sectarian pastors began to entertain doubts concerning the sectarian cause, questioned their occupational calling, and turned their backs on the ministry. Using the data gathered from in-depth interviews with 43 expastors and from other sources, the author develops detailed case study profiles, which highlight the personal, organizational, and social factors involved in their decision, and the types of experiences they associate with leaving the ministry. The first study of clergy fallout from a sectarian community, this volume makes a significant contribution to our understanding of exiting.

 

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Contents

Radical Departures
1
Adventism and Exiting
9
Adventist Pastors and Expastors
29
Narratives of Exiting
41
Loss of Idealism and Cynical Knowledge
61
Propagating Cynicism
85
Bureaucrats Scholars and Friends
107
Charismatic Leadership Versus Bureaucratic Authority
123
Wives as Facilitators of Exit
153
Negotiating Exit
183
Adventist Crossroads
205
Bibliography
211
Index
229
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

PETER H. BALLIS is Senior Lecturer and Head of Sociology and Social Research in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monash University, Gippsland Campus./e He is the editor of In and Out of the World: Seventh-Day Adventists in New Zealand (1985) and the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on Adventist history.

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