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Joyce Smith, "The Media Diary of an American Priest: Christian Ministry in Popular and News Media."

Through an examination of agenda-setting print and visual material with a wide ranging audience, this study discovers that the pastoral ministry is normally depicted through the use of Catholic clergy which functions as a readymade image. In regard to print news media, the author suggests that the global nature and visible local presence of the Roman Catholic Church make it a more readily accessible news contact. In film and television, Catholic clergy are easily identifiable and thus can appear without requiring much background or explanation. Protestant clergy when depicted are more likely to be nameless participants in rites of passage that reflect no particular denominational tradition.

Jackson, W. Carroll, "Protestant Pastoral Ministry at the Beginning of the New Millennium."

This paper reviews trends in pastoral leadership, suggests routes for further study, and concludes that the profession is a troubled one with an overall decrease in both the quantity and quality of ministers who face increased demands from families and congregations. While the number of students entering seminary has remained relatively flat, the average age of those students has risen and their test scores have declined. Many denominations report a shortage of ordained clergy who face increased expectations in their congregations. The majority of clergy feel satisfied with their work, but many report increased stress and difficulties in family life. Ministerial salaries remain low compared to other similar professions, and financial demands amplify the other problems ministers face.

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