Sustaining Ministry

Foundations and Practices for Serving Faithfully

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"A must-read for everyone in ministry"

"With unusual good sense and insight Professor Wheeler has written a book that is sorely needed if we are to understand pastoral theology as integral to the theological task."
--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School

"Many contemporary analyses of clergy ethics take a backward-looking view of the power dynamics inherent in pastors' relationships with their flock. These analyses then offer a rules-based model for the prevention of clergy ethics violations. Wheeler points beyond a rules-based model to the necessity of practicing the deeply rooted Christian spiritual disciplines that form emotional and moral health. Sustaining Ministry, along with Wheeler's earlier The Minister as Moral Theologian, is a must-read for everyone in ministry, from bishops to lay pastors."
--Kathryn Greene-McCreight, author of Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness

"Wheeler draws on her deep familiarity with what makes ministry distinct as a profession and a way of life. She skillfully weaves insights from clergy self-care with pastoral ethics, and while she is unflinchingly realistic about the moral dangers of ministry, she is also sympathetic toward those who try to navigate them. This book will be especially useful in seminary contexts and for those just entering the ministry profession."
--Barbara J. Blodgett, author of Lives Entrusted: An Ethic of Trust for Ministry

"This is an excellent book, full of wisdom and insight for sustaining the church's ministry and its ministers. A must-read for every seminarian and ecclesial leader."
--Brent Waters, Stead Center for Ethics and Values, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

"Wheeler provides a wealth of practical wisdom for readers. While policies, procedures, and professional codes of ethics are important, Wheeler reminds us they cannot do all the work of moral and ministerial formation. Through this book, we are called to develop deeper reservoirs for sustaining ministry through practices of prayer and accountability. I will be using this book in my classes."
--Wyndy Corbin Reuschling, Ashland Theological Seminary

"Drawing on the heritage of serving professions, Wheeler shows how clergy face special issues, particularly around power. She performs a careful diagnosis of perils and temptations clergy encounter while offering positive practices to sustain an ethical ministry."
--Lovett H. Weems Jr., Wesley Theological Seminary

Contributors

Sondra Wheeler, Author

Sondra Wheeler (PhD, Yale University) is Martha Ashby Carr Professor of Christian Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. She has decades of experience preparing ministers and teaching advanced courses in the practice of ministry. Wheeler is the author of several books, including The Minister as Moral Theologian, Wealth as Peril and Obligation: The New Testament on Possessions, Stewards of Life: Bioethics and Pastoral Care, and What We Were Made For: Christian Reflections on Love.

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Sondra Ely Wheeler, Author

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