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Self-forgiveness and clergy who have left full-time pastoral ministry

06 August 2018

The aim of the study is to investigate the role of self-forgiveness in clergy who have left full-time pastoral ministry. It will be conducted in three stages: an online survey, focus groups, and interviews. The first stage, namely the online survey, focusses on demographic questions, ministry-related questions, and three relatively short questionnaires that measure self-forgiveness. #self-forgiveness #clergy #calling


  • All three criteria need to be met:
  • 1) Participants must have obtained a theological qualification of some kind, namely, a certificate, diploma, bachelors degree, masters, doctorate, or any other form of theological training.
  • 2) Participants must have entered full-time pastoral ministry (e.g. at a church) - the various titles/roles for clergy include, among many, reverend, "Dominee" (Afrikaans), priest, childrens pastor, youth pastor, student pastor, intern pastor, assistant pastor, associate pastor, congregational pastor, district pastor, zone pastor, senior pastor, assistant senior pastor, associate senior pastor, etc.
  • 3) Participants must have subsequently left full-time pastoral ministry.

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Ethical approval

This study has been approved by the Health Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the North-West University (NWU 00415-17-S8) and will be conducted according to the ethical guidelines and principles of Ethics in Health Research: Principles, Processes and Structures (DoH, 2015) and other international ethical guidelines applicable to this study. It might be necessary for the research ethics committee members or other relevant people to inspect the research records.

About the researcher

The research team consists of a principal investigator (PI), statistician, interviewers (2), and a research student.

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Academic study

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