A new career for a burned out pastor?
October 27, 2009 10:56 AM Subscribe
Career brainstorming filter: Help me help my minister friend think creatively about a midlife second career.
posted by Pater Aletheias to work & money (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The basics: like me, he's a minister, located in a congregational setting doing traditional church ministry. But he's getting burned out and wants to find another career.
He's well educated, but all his training is ministry-related. A bachelor's in Biblical Studies, a 90-hour Master of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry.
What he likes about ministry: helping people, being a leader, research and communication, analyzing the congregation as a system and helping it work better. He's really good at the "big picture" stuff, and every church he's been at has grown while he was there. He's not pushy, but people follow his lead because of his high competence levels and he likes setting the direction. What he doesn't like: lack of privacy, role ambiguity, (competing expectations from lay leaders and the congregation), lack of autonomy (i.e., being over-ruled by his eldership board on matters where he frankly knows more than they do.)
So he'd like something where he can either be his own boss or at least have the authority to get things done. If necessary, he could go back to school for a couple of years. He's got a stellar graduate GPA and something like a 1250 on the GRE, so getting into a good school shouldn't be a problem. He's thought about seeking licensure as a marriage and family therapist (LMFT), but isn't sure how likely it would be to get back to his current salary--$70,000 + family health insurance. He doesn't necessarily need quite that much, but getting in that ballpark is a plus.
I think the main thing is that he always, only, wanted to be a minister, and just hasn't ever thought about other options. But he's seriously burned out and needs some help thinking about what other careers might be a good fit. Anything to help him spark an idea, or even advice about how to go about finding a second field, could be useful.
Thanks for helping us think through this!