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Pastors and Public Life$
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Corwin E. Smidt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190455491

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190455491.001.0001

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The Theological Orientations of American Protestant Clergy

The Theological Orientations of American Protestant Clergy

Chapter:
(p.59) 3 The Theological Orientations of American Protestant Clergy
Source:
Pastors and Public Life
Author(s):

Corwin E. Smidt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190455491.003.0004

This chapter examines change and continuity in the theological beliefs of Protestant clergy and the extent to which change has occurred in the level of theological orthodoxy expressed by clergy. The data reveal that there has been a growing level of theological orthodoxy evident among Protestant clergy over the past twenty years and that this growth has been evident across all mainline Protestant denominations (with evangelical clergy continuing to exhibit high levels of theological orthodoxy). However, different segments of clergy (e.g., in terms of their gender, education, and marital status) exhibit different levels of theological orthodoxy, and so the final section of the chapter examines the changing sources of theological diversity and those factors that best account for differences in the level of theological orthodoxy exhibited by clergy.

Keywords:   theological beliefs, Protestant clergy, mainline, evangelical, theological orthodoxy, growth in orthodoxy, differences in orthodoxy

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