Seth Pickens, M.Div.’ 06

Seth Pickens, M.Div.’ 06
Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church
Los Angeles CA
What do you do?
I’m pastor of the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Los Angeles, and I’m also completing an doctoral program in education (Ed.D.) at the University of Southern California. I’m writing my dissertation now and expect to graduate in May 2015. So I’m a pastor, educator, and spiritual leader in the community. My doctoral program is a great opportunity to examine the challenges and resources for pastoral leadership in the twenty-first century. In particular, I’m investigating the skills needed for pastors in a changing cultural context. The general trend is that congregations are losing members and financial giving is down. At the same time, pastors are working hard (on average 57 hours per week) and showing signs of stress and fatigue. But are they working smarter? Yes, pastors show a high level of job satisfaction, but they have multiple demands on them and don’t always manage to lead effectively. My dissertation is a qualitative study based on my in-depth interviews with five pastors, and I’m hoping this can be a useful resource for other pastors and for seminaries as they train spiritual leaders. Both Union and USC are remarkable institutions. If I had to choose a seminary all over again, I would choose Union. And that’s true for me about USC, as well.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The very best thing is being able to share God’s love, teach people about the gospel, and help them tap into

https://utsnyc.edu/seth-pickens-m-div-06/

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