Nicky Duenkel



JSS 3.2

Past News

JSS 3.2 Leadership as a Spiritual Practice: Transformative Experiences for Volunteer Religious Educators

by Professor Nicky Duenkel, Cape Breton University, Canada
Journal for the Study of Spirituality 3, no. 2, 2013, pp. 92-106

Religious educators commonly come to volunteer leadership roles from a sense of parental duty or as a form of service to the congregation, and lament the fact that while doing so they are missing out on the sermon and their own spiritual practice. This study contends that religious educators’ volunteer leadership can, by design, be experienced as a spiritual practice in and of itself. In-depth interviews with religious education (RE) volunteers, following a two-year period of intentional focus on volunteer leadership as spiritual practice, reveal that key elements, purposefully introduced, contributed to fundamental shifts in taken-for-granted ways of viewing the religious education experience and acted as support for transformation. This study suggests that the practice of being mindful in approaching RE leadership as a spiritual practice not only gave greater meaning to volunteer roles but the effect often extended into everyday life.

To read the full article, click here.