Title page for ETD etd-05072012-203137

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sharp, Erin Colleen
Author's Email Address varev99@aol.com
URN etd-05072012-203137
Title Clergywomen and Role Management: A Study of PC(USA) Clergywomen Negotiating Maternity Leave
Degree Master of Science
Department Marriage and Family Therapy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Huebner, Angela J. Committee Chair
McCollum, Eric E. Committee Member
Wittenborn, Andrea K. Committee Member
  • pregnancy
  • transition to motherhood
  • work-life balance
  • theory
  • maternity leave
  • clergywomen
Date of Defense 2012-04-25
Availability restricted
While there is abundant research and literature on the transition to becoming a mother while working and on mothers and work-life balance, literature on clergy and, in particular, clergywomen and work-life balance is scarce. This study contributes to that literature by utilizing role theory and grounded theory methods to investigate the experience of 12 clergywomen who negotiated maternity leave with their congregations and the implications of that process on how they understood and managed their roles as mothers and pastors. The result is a model for role management through the process of negotiating maternity leave which identifies and describes the causal conditions; personal, church and intervening factors; overall experience of negotiation and consequences of the negotiation, including decisions about role management. Major findings include the observations that the most influential church factor seems to be the overall stability and organizational health of the congregation and its leadership and that a presbytery level policy may be the only effective intervention in a difficult negotiation. Limitations of the study, as well as recommendations for future study, clinical implications, and recommendations for denominational leaders are also discussed.
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