Dan Trathen DMin, PhD Clinical Psychologist & Certified Business & Life Coach

Pastoral Coaching

We want to thank you for requesting information about Pastor Coaching Services (PCS). We will seek to provide you with an overview of our program including our philosophy of coaching, the service components, financial policies, and our statement of faith. It is our hope that this will answer some of your questions, as well as help you determine if the Lord would have you partner with PCS.

Our purpose is to provide a quality and professional assessment and coaching experience. Due to our years in ministry, the Lord has given us a wide range of experience, allowing us to understand pastors and the demands of church life in unique ways.



We believe the mission of the church is to reach the world for Jesus Christ. In order to help pastors to more effectively fulfill the Great Commission, we seek to assess and develop the whole person — body, soul, and spirit. We endeavor to challenge them in their Christian walk with the Lord, their personal and emotional development, and also encourage growth in their marriage, family, and ministry.

We provide professional, quality coaching tailored to their individual needs to encourage this growth progress. We recognize that our services are only one aspect of a larger picture of a calling to the church. Therefore, we seek to work as a team in conjunction with other resources (i.e., mission boards, denominational leaders, local churches, etc.), as needs arise. We are committed to working within our capabilities and make outside referrals as they are deemed necessary and appropriate.

Our coaching approach is based on obtaining personality assessments for the understanding of a person’s strengths and limitations. We provide, with rare exceptions, a coaching style that utilizes an interactional and collaborative approach between both the pastor and coach. The primary focus of coaching is on specific issues, is goal oriented, and seeks to encourage changes in immediate areas of need in order to help remove obstacles and build up strengths, skills, and coping abilities.

We believe that lasting change occurs gradually over time. Therefore, we seek to maintain some regular contact with the pastors following their initial assessment/coaching experience. We desire to see the Holy Spirit bring about continuing growth and development in all pastors with whom we interact. We consistently give the Lord the praise for His work and seek to be His obedient servants as we use our gifts and abilities for the fulfillment of the Great Commission.



PCS currently offers two different coaching components: Pastoral Candidate Assessment and Coaching for Pastors who want to continue maintaining a high level of functioning in their ministry and relationships or are having difficulty adjusting to their church or leadership positions.

Each coaching component includes the use of personality assessment. The wise use of testing can provide a wide range of objective information regarding personal and relational functioning, as well as overall coping, in a comparatively short period of time. It is both cost effective and time effective. In addition, this approach helps us focus coaching on the most relevant issues. Currently, we are utilizing the following tests in coaching areas:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

This provides us with an overview of the pastor’s basic personality makeup, preferences, strengths and weaknesses, learning styles, and their functioning in relationships. The insights from the MBTI are invaluable in helping people better understand themselves and how to more effectively communicate with family, other pastors, and the church.

  • Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis (TJTA)

This provides an overview of their current level of functioning in a number of important areas of personality. It is also useful in better understanding marriage dynamics. In addition, it provides a number of scales that may potentially be useful to better understand how a pastor is currently coping in their life, marriage, and church.

  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2)

This provides us with an in-depth look at the emotional health of the pastor, possible areas of dysfunction, and provides many other scales that help give an overview of their individual functioning. These scales are a great benefit in establishing a pastor’s professional/personal development plan and enables us to provide the pastor with comprehensive strategies for growth as well as determine if the pastor might need to be referred for therapy.

  • Millon (MCMI-III)

This provides an in-depth look at a variety of personality tendencies and patterns and helps give an overview of functioning from the pastor’s personal character and how they may respond to the ministry and the Body of Christ as well as their relationship in marriage and parenting. This evaluation is helpful in establishing a longer term coaching plan or a referral for therapy.

  • Enrich (2000)

This tool gives an in-depth look at the pastor’s marriage and its areas of strengths and weaknesses. It helps us provide specific and practical suggestions to strengthen their marriage relationship.

These are the tools which we have found that provide us with a comprehensive picture of the individual and their relationships. We have the capability to utilize several other tools as we determine what will best meet our needs in coaching, as well as the specific needs and desire of the sending agency or church with whom we are working.

We have a number of other personality assessment tools that we are able to utilize when we feel they are needed to provide quality care to the pastor. Their use will be determined by the coach and will be added to the basic testing costs for the pastor in the program.

Here is an overview of each of the Pastor Coaching Service components:

I. Candidate Assessment

The purpose is to evaluate the pastoral candidate in the areas of calling, emotional stability and well-being, family functioning, and adaptability for their proposed pastoral position. In order to make a valid and effective evaluation, we use:

  • Personal Information to assess calling, family of origin issues, emotional well-being through the level of personality functioning, marriage, family, and work relationships.
  • Testing to provide objective, relevant information regarding personality and relational functioning.

This information is then synthesized to provide a comprehensive and objective evaluation. We will not seek to determine whether or not a candidate should be accepted or rejected as we view this as the decision of the church or sending agency. We actively seek to be encouraging to the candidate, to freely share the information that we accumulate with them, and actively seek to point out their strengths, weaknesses, and any relevant recommendations that we might be able to make for their ongoing growth. Upon request, the PCS staff will, with the written consent of the candidate, provide a short comprehensive summary of the assessment, along with the recommendations made to the appropriate church representative.

II. Coaching for Pastors

The purpose is to evaluate the pastor while they are doing well in their ministry in the areas of mental and emotional well-being, family functioning, pastoral ministry, stress management, and sending agency/church relationships. From this evaluation, a yearly growth plan is designed to assist the pastor in staying healthy and serving the church from a place of awareness as well as personal development. We also use this assessment for pastors who are in the re-entry phase of their careers. In addition, we are committed to work with the special needs of pastors in the re-entry stage of pastoral service. We recognize that this is one of the most difficult times in the pastor’s life. We will be very happy to discuss with you the possibilities and opportunities that we have to offer. We are also able to assist you in making appropriate referrals to other professionals in your area if the need for therapy becomes evident.

We seek to help them those re-entering into ministry to understand themselves and the process in order to make the many adjustments required for successful re-entry to the church or parachurch ministry. We utilize personal information and testing components to conduct this assessment. Integration of this information will provide a fair assessment. The pastoral coach will provide the pastor a summary of their overall findings and include specific guidelines designed to improve their overall satisfaction and effectiveness as they work for the Lord. It allows for effective encouragement and follow-up by the church to help insure continued growth and development of the pastoral team. It can be very useful to have someone outside of the church or denomination explore ideas and issues. A professional/personal development plan will be established to assist to provide meaningful structure and accountability to the pastor’s growth. Upon request, and with the written consent of the pastor, a written summary will be provided to both the church representative and to the pastor.

The purpose is to provide quality coaching to (a) help provide stabilization for pastors, (b) to assist in dealing with immediate crises or other significant issues, (c) to help the pastors understand their strengths and limitations as individuals, marriage partners, and family members, and (d) to facilitate more effective coping skills. Our ultimate goal is to, when possible, help return the pastor to ministry with greater stability, improved relational skills (both personal and interpersonal), increased insight, a positive direction for the future, and greater effectiveness for the Kingdom of God.

In our experience, change also occurs outside the formal coaching setting; thus, the coaching process will include a variety of homework assignments to assist in the change process. Ongoing pastoral coaching consists of five sequential steps:

  • Assessment and testing
  • Professional/personal development plan developed by the Pastor Coaching staff in conjunction with the pastor
  • Coaching in person, by telephone, or e-mail
  • Re-assessment to measure growth and change
  • Follow-up

The PCS staff will provide ideas and relevant issues that the pastor can continue to explore, as well as ways in which they can grow. At completion of their coaching experience, we will seek subsequent follow-up with the pastor. To encourage a continuation of positive change and accountability, we will do a follow-up personality evaluation as determined by the PCS team. Successful treatment will help the pastor handle stress more effectively, show greater personal awareness and interpersonal insight and coping skills, as well as help to improve marriage and family relationships.



We believe that we provide excellent coaching services. We would like to follow this information with a discussion of your specific needs and what the related costs of those services would be. In the case of ongoing coaching services, we cannot always predict the exact amount of the costs involved until the coaching team has developed a full assessment of the needs. We welcome your questions in order to clarify our financial policies.

At PCS we request payment at the time of service. Insurance companies will not pay benefits for coaching services. As a matter of policy, we also request payment in advance for the follow-up testing that will be done. This is an established part of our program and is a set and predictable cost.

We hope this provides you with helpful information regarding our Pastoral Coaching Services. In addition, we hope it provides you with a sense of our heart — to serve the Lord and to be a blessing to pastors.


Under His Gaze,

Daniel W. Trathen, D.Min., Ph.D.

Minister/Licensed Psychologist

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