This dissertation begins with a brief account of the effect
of the process of secularisation, from a sociological point of
view, on the role of the minister. The nature of his role and
status is considered against a background of the changes at
present taking place within society. The concept of role con¬
flict is explored. Judging from the spate of literature on tne
3ubject and the current changes in society it is concluded that
the ministerial role is highly susceptible to confusion. The
conclusion is partly reflected in the small number of theological
graduates compared to the large increase in graduates in other
faculties, and in the numbers recruiting for the Church of
Although the sociological definition of the ministry is
uncer some stress this does not imply that the theological uefinition is suffering the same fate. Thus chapters two and three
provide some theological background to the subject. The first
of these chapters returns to the Bible in an attempt to unravel
the origins of the word •ministry1 in the flew Testament. Hebrew
aerivation of flew Testament words are ascertained and it is
recognised that the Christian 'apostle* had his prototype in the
Jewish 'shaliach'. The title 'the Twelve' is also examined
since this is probably an earlier title than that of Apostle.
The conclusion is reached that a small number of men were called
to the office designated by the name of the Twelve ana that it
was an office characterised by the function of an Apostle.
The flew Testament usage of the word 'priest' is also discussed and found not to be used for anyone who holds an office
in the church. It is preferable to use the term as it describes
a function. Indeed the question of ecclesiastical 'office'
is not a N.T. concept. The tendency is to speak of 'service'
rather than office. This concept of 'service' ('diakonia')
is discussed at length and related to the Pauline conception
of charisma. Chapter two concludes with the sobering thought
that in the N.T. there is no one pattern of ministry which can
be interpreted unambiguously. More is there the general
principle of service and a flexibility and diversity of
ministry which today is unfamiliar. Not only is it difficult to
establish a scriptural norm for the ministry a brief glimpse into
Church History reveals a similar conclusion. With regard to the
diversity and flexibility, this is related to some contemporary
developments, namely, specialised ministries. The difficulties
inherent in these are discussed and guidelines given for determining their authenticity in terms of service of the church,
service of the world and service of individuals, the latter discussion revolving round the concept of soul'
The interesting effect of these new ministries is that of
highlighting the role of the clergyman as opposed to that of the
layman because there is a large amount of overlap in their respective functions. Thus chapter three begins with a discussion
on the priesthood of all believers. Difficulties with this
particular phrase are mentioned and more useful concepts discussed. In particular, the phrase 'the people of God' is shown
to relate more strictly to the N.T. words 'lay' (.'laos') and
'clergy' ('clerus'). Reasons for the clergy-laity distinction
are given and evidence cited to show that the layman has been far
from passive throughout the course of Christian history. The
chapter continues with an outline of three main types of layman
and reasons for the renewed interest in the laity. In discussing
the role of the laity the meaning of ordination arises because it
seems that the laity can equally well carry out all the tasks
that have been traditionally assigned to the clergy. The function
of a minister is described as a 'servant of the servants of God'.
After a look at the N.T. usage of ordination and church order and
the indelibility of ordination, two different views of ordination
are given on the subject and a synthesis attempted. any view
of ordination must take seriously the ministry of the laity, the
mission of the church and, last but not least, the ordained
ministry must be seen in relation to the 'given-ness' of God.
Of course the ordained man is different simply because of
his call and thus chapter four deals with this question against a
discussion on the nature of motivation in general. Experimental
findings are reported and a theoretical model, the 'little adult',
is examined. Surveys carried out in England and Scotland are
quoted before specifically discussing the concept of 'call'.
Four kinds of call are discussed in detail. The chapter closes
with reasons for using psychological methodology in what may seem
purely a theological matter. Theologically one talks of a call
to the ministry but psychologically one must speak of the decision
of a person to enter a particular vocation.
Chapter five deals with the selection process and opens with
a brief discussion of the modes of operation in the Methodist and
Anglican denominations. The chapter continues with a discussion
of the selection system in the Church of Scotland prior to 1966.
The advantages and disadvantages of relying on the interview as
an instrument of selection are carefully weighed. The 'extended
interview' or group selection methods of the Civil service
Selection Board (CSSB) are outlined together with experimental
findings. Finally the new procedures of the Church of Scotland
are discussed in detail.
Chapter six describes the selection process by means of
statistical methods. A detailed breakdown of over 80% of
Scottish ministerial candidates is given. The attrition rate
for the three denominations is remarkably similar. after
examining the percentage acceptance rate at selection schools
and also the details of candidates who applied twice the conclusion is reached that assessors are consistent in their
judgements. after statistically examining various election
School variables no clues are found to predict which candidates
are likely to withdraw at some later stage.
All variables are examined for sex differences and significance is found in the 'chair' and 'church' variables. Fewer
women than expected obtained low scores in the exercise as
committee chairman. The opposite is the case for the 'church'
variable. Thus if bias is understood to refer to patterns of
over and under representation under the statistical assumption
of independence, the sex bias does exist. There is also a
significant relationship between l.Q. and the final Selection
School decision. Bias is also found in certain age ranges.
Most variables are found to approximate well to the normal distribution. Finally a correlation table for all the variables is
Chapter seven focuses on the theoretical issues involved in
any selection process, in particular, the relationship between
predictors and criteria. The prediction of academic performance
is given as an illustration. Both cognitive and non-cognitive
predictors are discussed. with regard to criteria, the difficulties in defining teacher effectiveness is used as an example.
The criteria of success, effectiveness, perseverance in the
ministry and mental health are all found to be wanting when used
in relation to the clergy.
With the intention of delineating the characteristics which
make for effective ministry all the assessors of the church of
Scotland were asked to complete a short questionnaire. The
results are tabulated in chapter eight. The main question
deals specifically with the 'characteristics always found in the
good effective pariah minister'. A sorting procedure was
employed, the results tabulated and written out in the form of
a criterion model. Concern for others, spirituality and
ability to communicate rank highly in terms of importance.
The results are compared to those of other researchers and
also with the answers given by a number of candidates. There
is a high degree of similarity between the answers of assessors
and those of candidates.
The penultimate chapter deals with the results of a questionnaire sent to a large proportion of candidates who have
been accepted since the inception of the new system. secondary
questions about Selection Schools, motivation, theological
standpoint are discussed but the prime aim is to develop a
criterion for the ministry. The core of the questionnaire is
six open-ended questions related to the concept of satisfaction
and areas of difficulty in the parish ministry. The idea is to
determine areas where men and job do not fit. although results
are not as conclusive as anticipated it is possible to establish
two things. Firstly a tentative approach is made towards a Job
description defined by the satisfactions and difficulties the
respondents had. Secondly it becomes obvious that respondents
had difficulty in conceptualising the role of the minister at
all. A statistical analysis is carried out to determine whether
any relationships exist between the predictors, that is the
Selection School variables and the criteria, that is, the categories of difficulty and distaste. Additional questions give
further clues on the satisfaction-dissatisfaction dimension.
Chapter ten draws together all the threads of the thesis,
reaches conclusions and points in the direction of further