Maladapted to Change: How Routinized Practice Is Killing the United Methodist Church

Doctoral Dissertation


In this dissertation, I will examine the organization of the United Methodist Church, exploring in particular how policies such as the system of itinerancy undermine the power and efficacy of pastors. Using data from interviews of pastors in the United Methodist Church of Indiana, along with observational and interview data from two congregations in a mid-sized, Midwestern City, I outline the ways in which the strength of laity within the United Methodist System, developed over years of shifting pastoral leadership, undermines the strength of pastoral leadership. Finally, I discuss ways in which the lack of leadership within congregations leads to a gap in vision within the congregations.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-02252014-090151

Author Ellen Susanna Childs
Advisor Jessica Collett
Contributor Kraig Beyerlein, Committee Member
Contributor David Sikkink, Committee Member
Contributor Jessica Collett, Committee Chair
Contributor Christian Smith, Committee Member
Contributor Mary Ellen Konieczny, Committee Member
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Sociology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2014-02-24

Submission Date 2014-02-25
  • United States of America

  • congregation

  • denomination

  • United Methodist

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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