Bivocational and Beyond

Intentional bivocational ministry requires bringing your whole self into service for others, in the workplace and at church.

When you find resonance with the transcendent in all areas of your life, you have achieved a multivocational mindset.

Educating for Bivocational Ministry

Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry is an edited volume for church leaders and those that teach and support them. Contributors include bivocational pastors and other reflective practitioners as well as theological educators and researchers. The book is scheduled for publication in April 2022.

What is bivocational ministry, exactly? Read my article “Bivocational Ministry as the Congregation’s Curriculum.” Religions (Jan 2021). https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010056.

Want to learn more? “Bivocational Ministry for Congregations and Pastors” is a six-session class I taught through the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry. Syllabus here.

How can institutions of higher learning in theological education respond to an increasing need for bivocational ministry preparation, training, and support? Read my detailed findings based on survey data taken at Lancaster Theological Seminary. “Preparing to Educate for a Thriving Bivocational Ministry: A Seminary Case Study.” Religions (July 2021), 12(8), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080592

Video and Audio Resources for Teaching and Learning

Grand Rapids Seminary. 2018. “Bi-Vocational Ministry: Balancing Dual Roles.” Audio from conference: https://soundcloud.com/grand-rapids-theological-seminary/bi-vocational-ministry-balancing-dual-roles. Excellent resource for gaining a personal understanding of the challenges and benefits of bivocational ministry. Panel discussion moderated by Julián Guzmán, director of the Urban Church Leadership Center. Panelists included Khary Bridgewater, Angel Ortiz, Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, and Chris DeBlaay. Panelists spoke for about an hour.

Christian Reformed Church in North America and Financial Shalom Project. 2018. “What Role Will Bivocational Ministry Play in the Future of the CRCNA?” Two-day conference in Grand Rapids, MI, April 24–25. https://network.crcna.org/pastors/resources-bivocational-ministry-gathering-last-month. Nine videos from the conference, including talk by author Hugh Halter (co-founder of Missio, https://www.hughhalter.com/). He suggested how to congregationalize a missionary movement.

New Leaf Network. 2020. Falling Forward: Negotiating New Realities, web event recording. https://www.canadianmultivocationalministry.ca/events

Samushonga, Hartness. 2020. “The Bivocational Pastor.” Interview with Dennis Bickers. December 12. https://youtu.be/6-te8hNaXhM

Samushonga, Hartness. 2020. “Ministry Beyond the Church.” Interview with Shingi Munyeza. December 12. https://youtu.be/4_JApYecBmw 

Stephens, Darryl W. 2021. “Bivocational Integration: Connecting Call and Livelihood.” Interview with Gerald Simmons and Connie Mentzer. February 23. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkNn7kXL9zA

Stephens, Darryl W. 2021. “Double-Time: Time Management, Self-Care, and Boundaries in Bivocational Ministry.” Interview with Barry Chambers, Amelia Price, and Barbara Rowlett. January 19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxs-Y2klf_c&feature=youtu.be

Stephens, Darryl W. 2021. “Tomorrow’s Church Today: Bivocational Ministry in a Mainline Denomination.” Interview with Marvin A. Moss and Karen Monk of the New York Annual Conference, UMC. January 25. https://youtu.be/zoSEt3LyZjY

Print Resources

Edington, Mark D. W. 2018. Bivocational: Returning to the Roots of Ministry. New York: Church Publishing. Available online: http://www.bivocational.church/. Short book making a strong case. Author is now a bishop in the Episcopal Church in Europe.

MacDonald, G. Jeffrey. 2020. Part-Time Is Plenty: Thriving Without Full-Time Clergy. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox. Excellent, positive presentation of the change in mindset required of white, US mainline churches in order to thrive.

Watson, James W., Wanda M. Malcolm, Mark D. Chapman, Elizabeth A. Fisher, Marilyn Draper, Narry F. Santos, Jared Siebert, and Amy Bratton. 2020. Canadian Multivocational Ministry Project: Research Report. https://www.canadianmultivocationalministry.ca/master-report. Year-long study, questionnaire followed by 40 semi-structured interviews.

Related Publications

Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry. Books @Atla Open Press, Scholarly Editions, Teaching Religion and Theology series. Forthcoming April 2022.

“Preparing to Educate for a Thriving Bivocational Ministry: A Seminary Case Study.” Religions (July 2021), 12(8), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12080592

“Bivocational Ministry as the Congregation’s Curriculum.” Religions 2021, 12 (1), 56. Special Issue Practical Theology & Theological Education — An Overview. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12010056.

Funding

Portions of this research were made possible through Lancaster Theological Seminary and a matching grant from the In Trust Center for Theological Schools.