Students will interview a religious leader or specialist for this assignment. This person does not need to be a paid staff member, but he or she must be involved in an important administrative position within his or her religious organization. While you may be able to read some of the questions verbatim, I suggest you study the guide so you will sound natural when you ask the question. Some of the questions or the introduction you may rephrase to fit the setting. The questions are primarily to make sure all areas of the topic are covered and to get the conversation moving. After conducting a personal meeting, you will write up a summary of what you learned about the responsibilities and challenges of this ministry position. Describe and analyze the denomination from the perspective of the interviewee. Using sociological concepts, provide a sociological description of the tradition of your interviewee. As always, thank the person for being willing to participate in this interview.
1. Could you please describe your role or position within your church/denomination/ congregation? How long have you been in this position? Have you held other positions within your church? What were they?
2. What kind of activities typically take place in the course of the week with your church congregation?
3. How is your particular congregation organized?
4. Who is the visible leader of your church? (God may be the leader, but who has the authority to sign the checks?)
5. Could you please describe the denominational structure of your tradition? What are the regulations/structures (if any) that go beyond this particular congregation? What are the different levels of organization of your (Church/denomination/ religion/faith tradition)?
6. Please tell me a little bit about the history of your religious tradition. (This can include the larger denomination as well as the local congregation.)
7. What are the goals of your tradition? How do you accomplish these goals?
8. What do you most appreciate about how your faith tradition is organized?
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