religion, domestic violence, clergy, Baptist
The purpose of this thesis was to survey and discuss how small Baptist church clergy address domestic violence (DV) with the goal of studying how clergy in small Baptist churches view domestic violence and how they address the problem of domestic violence within their congregation. The Baptist faith was selected since they form the largest portion of the Protestant faith in the United States. The sample consisted of clergy from small Baptist churches located within the geographic limits of Brevard County, Florida. Interviews were conducted with ten small Baptist church clergy. The interview questions were constructed to ascertain specific areas of information regarding personal beliefs, perceptions about domestic violence, understanding of issues, and to find out information regarding clergy qualifications, roles, and responsibilities in the area of domestic violence. After summarizing the content of the responses, several conclusions regarding how small Baptist church clergy addresses domestic violence can be made. Within this group of small Baptist clergy, scripture does not justify DV. The clergy are aware of the issue of DV but their training in addressing the details and extent of the problem is often dependent upon the time period they were trained and ordained. Older clergy or those with less recent training, still regard physical abuse as the main element of DV. Counseling within the church is the primary method most of the clergy use to address DV. At the same time, physical danger or injury is referred to law enforcement and other agencies. Referral to other agencies or resources is an essential element to their DV programs. However, most do not have a formal system to implement these actions. Given the lack of resources within the church and heavy workload demands on the clergy, the effect of most small Baptist church clergy is positive in the areas of education, observation, referral, and awareness of domestic violence.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lieftink, Katherine, "Addressing Domestic Violence Among Small Baptist Church Clergy" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3242.