Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Micah McCreary


A review of vocational assessment in ministry populations revealed that since the 1950s, ministers have been assessed using psychological and vocational assessments in an effort to ascertain goodness of fit for ministry tasks. However, ministers consistently produce profile reports that are significantly different from the population as a whole. In addition, while there has been much research on the general ministerial vocation, there has been little research on particular ministerial roles and the predictors for ministers who will excel in those tasks. The literature on ministers is outdated and has not taken into consideration the peculiar characteristics of the ministry population, such as a special set of societal standards and the “call” from God to engage in ministry. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a personality profile exists that can predict the types of ministers that would be most likely to exhibit a preference in pastoral care and counseling tasks as a specific ministerial vocation. Based on a review of the literature, several variables from psychological and vocational assessments emerged as possible predictors. In addition, it was hypothesized that the relationship between these variables could be explained by a friendly-dominant style of interpersonal behavior. Results suggest that there is in fact a personality profile that can predict whether ministers will exhibit a preference for pastoral care and counseling tasks. This profile was different based on setting, as was the goodness of fit with the theoretically proposed interpersonal style. Implications and limitations are discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2012