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The goal of this doctoral project is to provide a short monograph on a theological understanding of vocation in retirement. This will further the theological grounding for the work of the consultants and staff of the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who prepare and present pre-retirement seminars to church workers. The document previously used was written for pastors by a seminary president. However, the demographics of the participants are changing, creating a need for a document written in a more conversational style for an audience with less formal theological education.

The project reviewed relevant literature, drawing from the Patristic period and the Protestant theological tradition, as well as considering current understandings of vocation and calling in retirement. Gregory of Nazianzus’ emphasis on transformation is considered. Martin Luther’s broadening of vocation from merely ecclesiastical usage to include the work of all Christians. Three contemporary authors on vocation serve to move the theological conversation from the past into the present.

The products of this project include a fresh monograph on calling in retirement, a set of reflection questions for those preparing for the seminar, and a set of questions for group discussion within the seminar. The resources of this project may be incorporated into the new THRIVE seminar. To that end, interview questions for the staff who will be tasked with presenting the new seminar are included as a means of feedback on the offered resources. A survey is also provided for these resources to be evaluated by participants.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Hansen, Gary Neal

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Vocation, Calling, Retirement, THRIVE, Martin Luther, PC(USA), Presbyterian Church


Missions and World Christianity | Practical Theology


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