Assessment of pastoral preparation of Alaska Natives in the Assemblies of God

Norman R. Lindsay
Dept. of Missions and Education, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
July, 2006


The primary concern of this project is the preparation of Alaska Native pastors for effectual, long-term service in rural Alaska Native churches. The Assemblies of God in Alaska have produced few Alaska Native pastors in their ninety-year history. Adding to this concern, Alaska Native pastors have consistently served short terms of service. The research for this project centered on assessing the effectual development of Alaska Native pastors with the intent to make recommendations to the Alaska District Presbytery regarding which leadership preparation components, if any, should change. Research questions focused on cultural, organizational, delivery system, and curricular factors pertinent to pastoral development in rural Alaska. The author examined Alaskan educational institutions and religious organizations for relevant models regarding preparation of Assemblies of God Native pastors in rural Alaska. Data collection included surveys administered to representative rural Alaskan congregations. Additional information came from interviews with Alaska Native pastors, village elders, and district personnel involved in ministerial training as well as with institutional and denominational educators outside the Assemblies of God. The author presented the results of the assessment to the Alaska District Presbytery of the Assemblies of God in session. The presentation provided a foundation for a collaboration session, addressing implementation of those recommendations deemed appropriate to the effectual preparation of Native pastors for rural Alaska.