Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry


Darryl W. Stephens (ed)
Lancaster Theological Seminary


seminary education, Association of Theological Schools, multivocational ministry, bivocational ministry, pastoral ministry, theological education, Christian mission, Christian ministry, practical theology, congregational vitality, vocation, Christian leadership, discipleship


Bivocational and Beyond provides a wide range of perspectives on faith, leadership, and learning to equip pastors and theological educators for a future in which multivocational ministry may become the norm. Bivocational ministry—also called multivocational, covocational, dual career, partially funded, non-stipendiary, or tentmaking ministry—is a topic of increasing relevance to congregational vitality and the future of the church in North America. The rise of the “gig economy,” a blurring of traditional notions of sacred and secular, and missional innovation at the end of modern Christendom present challenges to received models of church and theological education. Bivocational pastors are being challenged to integrate diverse expressions of their calling, balance personal and professional obligations, overcome stigma, and achieve financial stability.

Bivocational congregations are being challenged to adapt to new leadership styles and expectations of clergy and laity alike. Theological educators, including theological librarians, are also being challenged to adapt. Degree programs designed for full-time students preparing for fully funded pastoral ministry must be reassessed in light of multivocational realities. This book addresses these challenges as an opportunity for theological education and the church. Theological librarians and educators can guide congregational leaders to imagine the church in ways that transcend the “standard” model of a fully funded, professionally trained pastor of a single congregation.

Contributors include researchers, reflective practitioners, denominational leaders, and theological educators. Appropriate to its subject matter, this book is written for multiple audiences: students and pastors as well as those who educate them—theological educators and librarians.

"Darryl W. Stephens opens a world of exposure through this edited volume that has the potential of radically reshaping theological education as we know it. This work is quite timely, considering the changing landscape of theological education—prompted by shifts in academy-denominational relationships, declining memberships in many Catholic and Protestant denominations, the browning of student populations in ATS institutions, feedback from ATS graduating student questionnaires about their expectations around ministry options, and recent pedagogical and curricular designs prompted by the impact of COVID-19."

— The Rev. Dr. Mary H. Young, Director, Leadership Education, Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada

“This book addresses a significant topic in ministry and theological education. . . . There are some books on bi/covocational ministry, but they tend to focus on congregational life. I do not know of any books that spend as much time as this one does thinking about how theological education needs to adapt to serve these ministers and their communities."

— The Rev. Dr. Ted A. Smith, The Almar H. Shatford Professor of Divinity, Candler School of Theology


  • Introduction
    Darryl W. Stephens
  • Bivocational Ministry as the Congregation's Curriculum
    Darryl W. Stephens
  • British Perspectives on Bivocational Ministry
    Hartness Samushonga
  • Changes in Ministry and Bivocational Ministry since the 1960s
    Ralph B. Wright Jr.
  • Black and Bivocational
    Jessica Young Brown
  • Black Student Perspectives
    Jo Ann Deasy
  • Calling in Multivocational Ministry
    Mark D. Chapman, James W. Watson
  • Pitching Our Tent with Bivocational Ministry
    Kristen Plinke Bentley
  • Exploring Distributive Ministry
    Kwasi Kena
  • Incarnating Christ through Bivocational Ministry
    Steven Van Ostran
  • Bivocational Ministry as a Path of Unexpected Spiritual Growth
    Ben Connelly
  • The Bivocational Congregation
    Anthony Pappas, Ed Pease, Norm Faramelli
  • Bivocational Ministry and the Mentoring Relationship
    Herbert Fain
  • Empowering the Full Body of Christ
    Kathleen Owens
  • Preparing to Educate for a Thriving Bivocational Ministry
    Darryl W. Stephens
  • The Multivocational Plans of Students in Graduate Theological Education
    Jo Ann Deasy
  • Preparing to Teach a Bivocational Ministry Seminary Course
    Philip Baisley
  • A Mentored Practice Approach to Bivocational Ministry Education
    Ronald W. Baard
  • Seeking Information Mastery in Multivocational Ministry
    Susan J. Ebertz
  • Reimagining Theological Education with a Multivocational Mindset
    Darryl W. Stephens


May 5, 2022

Details about the available publication format: POD


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