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Former Protestant Theologians

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Marhold, Wolfgang (Institut für Christliche Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster)
Publication Date
  • Institut fuer Christliche Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet Muenster (Data Collector)
  • GESIS (Distributor)
  • GESIS (Hosting Institution)
  • ZA:
    • Religion and "Weltanschauung"
  • CESSDA Topic Classification:
    • Employment
    • Post-compulsory education
    • Religion and values
Free Keywords
Schema: TheSoz
theology; studies (academic); drop-out; church; social attitude; clergyman
  • Abstract

    Attitude of theologians to theology, Christianity and church. Judgement on their education and occupation as pastor. Occupational re-orientation from the view of former theologians. Topics: The data set is comprised of 6 sub-surveys and the topics were mostly surveyed in the form of scales: 1. Theology and study of theology: university situation and judgement on the study of theology; relationship to theology; judgement on the relevance of the study of theology to reality and practice; changes in religious self-understanding and interest in theology in the course of studies; satisfaction with studies; interest in change of major; contacts with other theology students; self-doubt regarding choice of occupation and later demands as pastor; cooperation in church groups during the study of theology; motives for the selection of the study of theology; associations with the term theology (semantic differential); most important supplementary subjects for theology students; theological subjects that could be reduced within education; composition of circle of friends; former theologians in one´s circle of friends. 2. Occupational re-orientation: the following questions were posed only to former theologians: point in time and year of giving up the theological vocation or the pastor´s office; number of semesters and established Protestant church in state at time of giving up the study of theology; concurrence of giving up theological vocation and personal development; perceived changes and feelings during and after the decision for an occupational re-orientation; perceived personal distancing regarding theology, the occupation as theologian and the study of theology; changes of view of life and of circle of friends since giving up the theological vocation; personal self-understanding as theologian; judgement on the decision for a vocational re-orientation from today´s view; situation, reasons and misgivings at the decision to end theological vocational training or employment; personal decision or demand to end theological vocation and agreement of the official reason of the church leadership with the actual reason; marital status at the time of giving up the theological vocation; spiritual support received in the decision for a vocational re-orientation; reactions of selected groups of persons to the decision to end the theological vocation; blows and crisises experienced personally; perceived burdens at transition from school to university, during study of theology, at the time of curacy and parsonage. 3. Church and society: first association with the term church and semantic differential; personal image of the church and concepts of an ideal church; attitude to a political mission for the church; personal experiences with the church and the relationship to the institution church; actual and desired role of the church in society; the role deligated to the church by society; self-characterization; influence of the student movement on theology and church; social-political attitudes; active participation in student politics; party preference; assessment of personal political position by oneself and others; party membership; characterization of the Federal Republic. 4. Christianity: concepts of being a Christian and Christianity; perceived significance of Christianity in practical life; the way one sees oneself as a Christian; religious experiences and practice; attitude to church and religion; theological philosophy of life; preferred organization for donations; thoughts about leaving the church; married in church or interest in a church wedding; praying together with partner. 5. Parsonage: The following questions were posed to former and current theologians who were or still are active in the parsonage: judgement on one´s own professional competence and training; size of parish; preferred and non-preferred fields of work; satisfaction with activity as a pastor; judgement on the social prestige of pastors; personal image of pastor and criticism of the occupation as pastor; judgement on bonus payments of the church; perceived work stress and effects on personal life; changes in attitude to the parsonage; judgement on the possibilities of personality development in the parsonage; judgement on the aptitude of women for the parsonage. 6. Social data: year of birth; size of home town; number of siblings; social origins; judgement on raising in parental home; praying together with parents in childhood; personal contacts of the family with a pastor during one´s childhood; church or theological occupation of a relative; religious denomination of both parents; living in a diaspora church community during time in school; reading religious or theological newspapers and magazines in parental home; memberships in groups and clubs during youth and influence of these on development of one´s own personality; vacation stays in a home or youth camp run by a church organization; group leader in a church youth group; attending church events as a schoolchild; confirmation or religious instruction as impetus to the study of theology; privatly reading the Bible or religious and theological books; greatest influence factor on the choice of the study of theology; changes within family in childhood and youth; comparison of personal active participation in church life with that of parents at time of decision to study theology; devoutmess of parents; location of university and duration of studies; language proficiency; completed theological final examinations; attendance or registering for other subjects during study; other majors before the study of theology; final examination in a non-theological subject and form of degree; desired examination; manner of financing studies; frequency of visits with parents and siblings as well as friends and pastor in home town; non-academic vocational training; occupation exercised before the study of theology; current employment; religious denomination of partner; judgement on participation in church life and one´s own devoutness in comparison to that of partner; children; size of place of residence. The following questions were posed to former theologians: memberships and social-political activities at time of giving up theological occupation; composition of circle of friends and frequency of attendance at a church service before giving up theological occupational career; change of marital status in temporal vicinity to decision to give up theological career and religious denomination of partner at the time; judgement on participation in church life and one´s own devoutness in comparison to that of partner at the time; housing situation at time of giving up theological employment; exercising an activity after giving up theological employment that required none of the previous education and duration of such an activity; currently exercising theological duties. Also encoded was: response date and ZIP (postal) code.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1974-08 / 1975-01
Geographic Coverage
  • Germany (DE)
    FRG incl. West Berlin
Sampled Universe
Former protestant theologians, theology students, vicars and pastors
Total universe/Complete enumeration; Non-probability: Quota; Probability; Sampling Procedure Comment: Census traced by means of direct access to university and church directories as well as through indirect contacts (writing via the universities or the established Protestant church in state; press releases; radio interviews; snowball procedure). The selection of the control group of protestant theologians took place in two parts: 1. Theology students: quota sample of students of various theological areas of instruction (WS 70/71 to WS 71/72) according to regional situation and size of protestant theological faculty of the university and church colleges in West Berlin Bochum, Erlangen, Goettingen, Heidelberg, Kiel, Mainz and Wuppertal. 2. Vicars and pastors: random selection from the pastors and vicars in the service of the established Protestant church in the state.
Time Dimension
  • Cross-section
Collection Mode
  • Self-administered questionnaire: Paper
  • Mail survey
Data and File Information
  • Unit Type: Individual
    Number of Units: 873
The 873 respondents are grouped as follows: 283 former protestant theologians; 236 protestant pastors; 167 protestant vicars and 187 protestant theology students. The former protestant theologians were defined as those persons who had begun the study of theology with the perspective of preparing for the parsonage and either during or after completion of education at a certain point in time had given up this perspective, i.e. former protestant theology students, vicars and pastors. The universe sampled of 262 protestant vicars, of which 167 took part in this survey, formed the master sample for a panel study (see. ZA Study No. 1515). The data set does not contain the former Catholic theologians (85 respondents) designated as control group in the publication.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA1514 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • 1 (Type: VerbundFDB)
  • Marhold, Wolfgang u.a.: Religion als Beruf: Band I: Identität der Theologen. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 1977.
  • Marhold, Wolfgang u.a.: Religion als Beruf: Band II: Legitimation und Alternativen. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer 1977.

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 89 | Registration Date: 2010-07-22

Marhold, Wolfgang (1986): Ehemalige evangelische Theologen. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.