Changed, set apart, and equal [electronic resource]: a study of ordination in the Baptist context

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Theology


Department of Religious Studies


Advisor: Dennis M. Doyle


The American Baptist denomination is often characterized as an ecclesiological grass-roots organization. The theology of such a denomination is practiced organically by the people and is seldom articulated by the academy. Thus one cannot find a well articulated theological understanding of what ordination means for the individual and the community in the Baptist context. A synthesis of Geertz's thick description, Lindbeck's approach to doctrine, and McClendon's understandings of speech-acts and conviction will offer a methodology through which one can articulate a theology of ordination. In doing so, we will find that the call" and a relationship with a congregation are essential for ordination to occur. Such a theology will suggest that one is changed through ordination, and this change is relational in nature. The Catholic concept of Sacramental Consciousness offers a way to articulate the community's awareness of the pastor's relational change while at the same time maintaining the egalitarian nature of a Baptist community."


Ordination Baptist Church, Baptists Clergy, Baptists Theology

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Copyright © 2011, author