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Title: Methodist ministers in the circuits : urban and rural differences
Author: Burton, Lewis
ISNI:       0000 0001 3511 6044
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Bangor
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2008
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The main enquiry of this dissertation is to ascertain whether there are differences between those Methodist ministers who are employed in urban circuits and those employed in rural circuits. The first part of the dissertation is descriptive, examining the evolution of the Methodist ministry, the background to ministry today, and whether differences between the urban and rural church can be delineated. The second part establishes the method of the enquiry within the discipline of empirical theology, using the techniques of sociology to establish a data base. An analysis follows of the characteristics of all 1026 responses from the 1728 of those sampled. The third part is devoted specifically to establishing urban/rural differences of ministry style. Out of the whole number of respondents those who had special responsibility for urban ministry and those for rural ministry were isolated. In the contrast between these two groups of respondents a number of differences were perceived. These were associated with differences of personal characteristics, the understanding of the accepted role of ministry within the circuit situation, the workload expected of them, the occupational stress which this imposed, the belief systems of the ministers, their practice of personal devotion, their style in the conduct of worship, and their personality type. A conclusion is drawn that the difference between urban and rural ministers is real, but is created principally by the Methodist system which is imposed upon all churches and ministers, but which has contrasting effects on the way that ministry can be exercised in the situation of populous urban areas and that found in rural locations. A number of differences not associated with this cause, but which spring from individual differences between ministers, are also identified. Attention is drawn to various outcomes of the research which are valuable for Methodism's future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available