Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


This qualitative, exploratory case study explores the factors that influence pastoral tenure in traditional African American Baptist churches. Through the lenses of the sheep and shepherd paradigm, pneumatology, and missional ecclesiology, this research examined the role of the Holy Spirit in the calling/dismissing of pastors and pastoral leadership. The results reveal the pastor-deacons relationship and the congregation’s relationship expectations as pivotal factors in tenure length and church harmony. In the traditional Black Baptist church, the pastor’s ability to first shepherd the deacons aids in the continuation of pastoral tenure and helps the pastor to lead the rest of the flock.

Available for download on Saturday, July 30, 2022