Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Dark Night of the Soul, Crisis of Faith, and Pastoral Leadership Implications
by Gray, R. Neal, Jr., Ph.D., Lancaster Bible College, 2017, 186; 10744196
Abstract (Summary)

In seminary education (other than perhaps in a Catholic seminary), the concept of the dark night is rarely examined, if ever. Therefore, a seminary-trained Protestant pastor may well enter into the dark night of the soul without any warning and without any understanding about what is happening. Unfortunately, the pastor who has never heard of this phenomenon may discern this gracious work of God in his or her life as a personal mental problem, such as a form of depression, or even a spiritual failure on their part. Thus the pastor may enter into a crisis of faith in their pastoral service and thereby miss the benefit of the experience.

The modern Christian psychologists researched in this study fail to answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The biblical theology presented by Saint John of the Cross does answer that question, providing a sufficient and satisfying understanding of why troubles do indeed arise in everyone’s life. This researcher’s hypothesis is that many pastors are largely unaware of the teachings of Saint John of the Cross and are very unaware of the biblical theology of the purpose of sorrow and suffering. Thus when sorrow and suffering come into their lives and ministry, their leadership effectiveness in pastoral ministry is negatively affected. This study attempts to validate that hypothesis.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anthony, Michael J., Yates, Steven L.
Commitee: Gushiken, Kevin
School: Lancaster Bible College
Department: Leadership Studies
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 79/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clergy, Social research, Pastoral Counseling
Keywords: Crisis of faith, Dark Night, Leadership, Pastoral ministry
Publication Number: 10744196
ISBN: 978-0-355-61138-0
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