Godly Grit: A Practical, Research-Driven Framework for Strengthening Ministry Perseverance

Publication Date



This dissertation leverages grounded theory research methods to demonstrate the factors that most significantly contribute to perseverance in the work of ministry. It then outlines a practical framework based upon this research to strengthen those factors. Part I of this study demonstrates from the literature that a pastor’s cultural environment and pastoral health may impact ministry perseverance. Discerning the true impact of these factors required localized field research, which was conducted within New York’s Adirondack Mountain region. Part II describes how a combination of semi-structured, active interviews and an anonymous survey was particularly appropriate for this grounded theory, qualitative research. The key factors of ministry perseverance that emerged from the research data were the intentional combination of a pastor’s godly grounding, resilient personality, intimate allies, and targeted calling, or GRIT. Part III demonstrates that these four factors—collectively known as Godly GRIT®—can be strengthened. The strategy for testing that is outlined through a twelve-part small group curriculum. This process informed the development of a ministry plan that combines informal coaching and a workbook to strengthen Godly GRIT. Although this research was conducted in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, the theory of Godly GRIT has broader applicational significance outside that specific region and even beyond vocational ministry.

Degree Name

Doctor of Missiology (DMiss)

First Advisor

Weaver, Alan

Document Type





Christian leadership, New York, Adirondack Mountain Reserve, Spiritual life, Clergy, Mental health, Resilience, Perseverance, Church work, Pastoral theology


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity


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