Original Research

Priests’ experience of the meaning of integrity with special reference to vocation

S. D. Edwards, D. J. Edwards
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 40, No 1 | a14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v40i1.14 | © 2019 S. D. Edwards, D. J. Edwards | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 May 2019 | Published: 25 July 2016

About the author(s)

S. D. Edwards, University of Zululand, South Africa
D. J. Edwards, University of Zululand, South Africa

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In its traditional association with some divine calling, the vocation of priesthood poses great human and spiritual challenges and opportunities along the developmental paths towards personal and ultimate integrity. This study used an interpretive phenomenological paradigm and qualitative research methodology in thematically analyzing and synthesizing the responses of a convenient sample of five Christian priests, four males and one female, with a mean age of 50 years (SD 9.31), with regard to their experiences of the meaning of integrity. Consistent evidence was provided of the depth and meaning attributed to their experience of integrity in personal, interpersonal, congregational and spiritual terms. In addition to appropriate criticism of the Christian religious system and inevitable human failings, the participants provide relevant, authentic evidence of their immersion in their personal, vocational and spiritual choices. Findings, limitations and implications are discussed within the context of psychology of religion.


integrity; experience; meaning; priests; vocation; Christianity


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