Browsing by Subject "teologian ja uskonnontutkimuksen tohtoriohjelma"

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  • Asikainen, Pekka (Väylä-kirjat, 2020)
    The focus of this research is centered on leadership and practices related to it. Irrespective of organization, similar dimensions of leadership are shared amongst them. The operational environment, the core mission of the organization and regional cultural differences all provide their own nuances to leadership. In the case of expert organizations, leadership is focused on professional identity. The vicar operates, based on their theological substance, to fulfil the core spiritual mission of a parish. In this qualitative case study research, leadership has been examined in the context of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and from the perspective of leadership of a local parish. The research has been conducted by interviewing 32 vicars of parishes. The results of this research have been grouped according to two larger entities. These are the views of the vicar on pastoral leadership and the vicar’s role as a pastoral leader. The deep structures of pastoral leadership have been resolved by inquiring of the interviewees’ views on priesthood, spiritual identity, the Bible and leadership. The vicars have also highlighted the changes happening in the operational environment which reflect upon pastoral leadership. One of the research results is a model of pastoral leadership entity. The model encapsulates the vicars’ understanding of pastoral leadership and the vicar’s views and role as a pastoral leader. Pastoral leadership represents the vicar’s leadership role in a local church so that the church’s core spiritual mission would be fulfilled. Comparable examples are the pedagogical leadership task of a headmaster and the medical leadership task of a medical director. The outcome of the study supports the discussion of general leadership theory. It can be used to examine leadership in expert organizations in which leadership is based on professional identity. The research results can be especially utilized in the development of leadership education in churches. At the same time, it gives individual leaders the possibility to reflect on their own leadership and deep structures related their leadership using the Pastoral Leadership Model as a basis. This model can be utilized in ecumenical interchurch discussion concerning priesthood and other elements of pastoral leadership. Feelings of loneliness arose as new research themes in the diverse leadership roles of a vicar. This research theme/topic needs further research in order to map out the burdens of a vicar’s position. Conflicts within the church and work community were found to be challenging by vicars. Prevalent structural changes within the church, as well as, differences in opinion in spiritual matters and ethical conflicts brought additional pressure to the position. In addition to this theme, the ongoing transformation in work culture in the church is a matter worth investigating. It would be interesting to expand the qualitative research study with a quantitative section investigating the views of vicars in the Finnish Lutheran church on leadership. An additional aspect to pastoral leadership would be provided by an ecumenical study in which Lutheran vicars would be joined by vicars from the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches as well as parish leaders from the Pentecostal church in a Finnish context.
  • Porkka, Jouko (Diakonia University of Applied Sciences, 2019)
    Young confirmed volunteers’ (YCVs) motivation, religiosity, and community in the confirmation work of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF) are examined. The history of YCV activity is studied in order to understand it today. Motivation theories, theories on religious commitment, sense of community, and community of practice form the theoretical foundation of this study. This dissertation is composed of four articles, which pave the way for solving the main research question. The whole study sheds light on the matter of the YCVs’ motivations, expectations, experiences, and religiosity. The influence of YCV activity on their attitudes and opinions is another topic addressed. Furthermore, the analysis touches on the broader question of how all of this influences the YCVs’ lives. Two kinds of data and thus two research methods are used. The data examined in the first article describing the history of YCV activity consists of statistics from various sources in the ELCF. The other data was collected from the YCVs via questionnaires and from an international study on confirmation work and Christian youth work in Finland. Two separate international studies have been done on the topic, the first in 2007/2008 and the second in 2012/2013. In both, data was collected separately at the beginning and at the end of that confirmation time during which the YCVs were volunteering. Altogether four different sets of data on the YCVs were collected. Because there were significant changes in Finnish society between the first and the second data sets, the sets could be used to assess the impact of these changes on YCVs’ opinion, which was found to differ from the views of confirmands at large. The broad data also enabled an international comparison between confirmands and at some level also between volunteers in different countires. The quantitative data was analysed statistically using the SPSS tool. Wenger’s model of social learning is successfully applied to the phenomenon. The key result is that in YCV activity, learning occurs through doing when the objects of learning are models of acting. Learning modifies belonging, committing, and relating to a community. Learning also changes an individual’s identity by giving the individual more readiness to understand things, to act, and to feel a sense of belonging to a community. Following this model, each confirmation group may form a Christian community of practice with confirmands (novices), YCVs (veterans) and assistant teachers (experts). This means that in confirmation work, each of the confirmands finds their own role based on their motivation, skills, and interests. The confirmands receive the support of YCVs and assistant leaders in discovering the meaning of Christian faith, which is the aim of the confirmation work. However it is a tad difficult to determine the role of, pastors, youth workers or other paid staff in this applied model. It was also recognized that YCVs are a very diverse group of adolescents with various ways of believing and motivations to volunteer. However, the diversity is perhaps one of the assets of YCV activity. When working as a group, people with different strengths need and reinforce each other. The role of paid staff is to support this diversity and openess in the YCV community. When there is space enough for YCVs with different motivations and ways of believing, positive youth development occurs automatically. YCVs learn useful things, which are meaningful in their future, such as leadership, tolerance, and understanding and living Christianity. Although the results show that YCV activity has a positive influence on the development of many of the YCVs, this is not always the case. Some YCVs also experience bitter disappointments and negative experiences. Key words. Adolescent, motivation, religiosity, religious commitment, sense of community, community of practice, confirmation work, young confirmed volunteers (YCVs), volunteering, Christian nurturing, quantitative research.