Character of Protestant pastors: a focus group study

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The objective of our research was to contribute to character development pastors by gaining knowledge about their character. The central question was, “How do Protestant pastors demonstrate character within their highly diverse professional practices?” The analysis of three focus groups with a mix of Protestant pastors (n=16) showed that spirituality played a key role, both within participants’ practices, and within their character. During the presentation, the researchers will show the multiple roles of spirituality, especially when it comes to the character virtue of flexibility. Spirituality appears to be something that both reinforces flexibility and limits it. In conclusion, the findings offer possibilities for character development of pastors and they suggest that pastors searching for the good and negotiating the good need to train their flexibility while nourishing spirituality of themselves and others.

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