Do Women Have What It Takes to Be Catholic Deacons? Data Says ‘Yes,’ Notes DePaul University Psychology Professor

Article ID: 653667

Released: 16-May-2016 3:05 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: DePaul University

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  • Credit: DePaul University

    Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University and an ordained Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, has surveyed Methodist and Catholic deacons and found “there were no significant differences across Christian denominations on personality dimensions, religious and spirituality beliefs or leadership styles.”

Do women have what it takes to be Catholic deacons? Data says ‘yes,’ notes DePaul University psychology professor Newswise — CHICAGO — Comparing national survey responses from 50 Roman Catholic deacons — all men — and 50 Methodist deacons — seven men and 43 women — “there were no significant differences across Christian denominations on personality dimensions, religious and spirituality beliefs or leadership styles,” according to psychology professor Joseph Ferrari, who also is an ordained Permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church.

In a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling, the findings suggest that Catholic and Methodist deacons self-identify as similar in many affective, behavioral, and cognitive dimensions, independent of social desirability tendencies, said Ferrari.

“The levels of religious commitment and beliefs about spiritual transcendence were similar across deacon denominations, suggesting that despite the differences in their faith traditions and their gender, these ministers are similar in their Christian faith beliefs,” he said.

The findings also showed that in general, both sets of deacons — men and women — reported similar servant leadership style attributes.

Ferrari’s research interest is broad and includes chronic procrastination, imposter phenomena, community-based service learning, and behavior analysis in the community. He is the editor of the Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community. More information is at http://offices.depaul.edu/svdpp/Members/Pages/Joseph-Ferrari.aspx. Professor Joseph Ferrari may be reached at: jferrari@depaul.edu. ###


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