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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 1018-6441

Abstract

NIEMANN, Gerhardus J.. Experience of burnout among postgraduate theological students of the Reformed Churches in South Africa - A pastoral analysis. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2013, vol.47, n.1, pp. 173-181. ISSN 1018-6441.

 The aim of this article is to establish to what extent the postgraduate theological students of the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA) experience burnout. Quantitative empirical research was conducted to establish their levels of burnout. The researcher found that 75% of the postgraduate students had experienced burnout to some extent. Out of these 75% participants, 35% experienced acute burnout, and a further 15% could be classified as being in the breakdown phase of burnout. Various factors were identified that may contribute to the postgraduate theological students' experiencing of burnout. These factors include inter alia the ineffective management of the academic work load; their experiencing of overload and a lack of control over the amount of academic work; perceptions that they are not rewarded sufficiently for their contributions; personal problems in their private lives; a lack of emotional development and growth and a need for interpersonal skills training in their curriculum; a lack of maintaining healthy emotional boundaries; structuring and ordering of the postgraduate theological students' own spiritual life; and a lack of fulfilment of goals. 1 Kings 19 is used as a biblical basis for the treatment and prevention of emotional burnout among the postgraduate theological students of the RCSA.

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