A study of the occupational pattern of the Presbyterian ministry of the Synod of North Carolina

James F. Hubbard


The Synod of North Carolina or the Presbyterian Church in the United States operates a Guidance Center on the campus of St. Andrews Presbyterian College at Laurinburg, North Carolina. Similar centers are in operation in other states by the appropriate Synod of the church. It is the task of these centers to provide a program of testing and counseling for high school Juniors and Seniors from local churches throughout the state. Candidates for the ministry are also examined and reports made to the Presbytery in charge. The emphasis is upon vocational and educational guidance. The Guidance Center in North Carolina accommodates from six hundred to seven hundred students annually.

The Counselors in this center felt a need for a more objective criterion to use with candidates and potential candidates tor the Presbyterian ministry. Norms for the clergy are meagre and discussions with the counsellees tend to be subjective. If more definite data on Presbyterian ministers were available, based on the instruments commonly used in the Center, our task of guidance and counseling would be greatly benefited. With this objective in mind the present study of the occupational pattern of the Presbyterian ministry has been undertaken.

Fortunately for this study a survey or the research on clergymen was made by James E. Dittes in 1962. The basic findings were theses (1) the major portion of the research in this field has been related to screening candidates to predict their success in seminary training, (2) the majority of the subjects have been college or seminary students rather than men tried in the field of service, (3) the criteria have been inadequate.