Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Dr. John Meyer

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. Steven Venette

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. Paul Strait

Committee Member 3 School



This study provides an overview of the concepts surrounding clergy burnout,

organizational culture, and emotional labor theory. Furthermore, it explains the need

for  clearer understanding of clergy perceptions of their own personal

experiences with burnout and their emotional wellbeing in relation to their organizational environment and careers as clergy members. The methodology of qualitative interviews sought to understand the narratives and experiences of clergy members from their own words and worldviews rather than from a statistical basis or analysis.

This research found answers to key questions involving communication about burnout in the context of organizational culture and emotional labor, including the connection between lack of organizational support for clergy members and clergy members’ experiences with burnout, anecdotal  evidence that there is little to know discussion about the subject of burnout or areas pertaining to emotional distress among clergy and those they serve, and that lack of boundaries and role clarification heavily contribute to feelings of burnout in clergy members.