The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of pastoral leaders regarding obesity and health within faith-based organizations (FBOs). In this study, the authors focused on gaining additional insight regarding how pastoral leaders conceptualize and make sense of their roles in terms of health promotion within FBOs. Utilizing a qualitative research methodological approach, specifically Qualitative Description, authors administered a qualitative survey to 12 participants which yielded three emerging themes: (1) perceived scope, (2) understanding and use of resources, and (3) defining obesity through pastoral leaders’ perspectives. In the study, investigators discuss clinical implications and provide recommendations.


pastoral leaders, obesity, health, faith-based organizations, qualitative description

Author Bio(s)

Darren D. Moore, Ph.D., MAEd., LMFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor is a Clinical Professor and the Associate Director of Clinical Training and Supervision in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the Family Institute, Northwestern University. He is also the owner of I AM MOORE, LLC, a private practice. Dr. Moore directs the MOORE Lab, and his research and clinical focus is far reaching which includes, obesity, weight loss, and eating disorders, fatherhood and fatherlessness, men, mental health, and couple/family relationships, and leadership, diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging in higher education and other workspaces. Dr. Moore obtained his Ph.D. from Virginia Tech University and holds a Master of Arts in Higher and Postsecondary Education, from Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Moore can be reached at mooredd2012@gmail.com

Clinton E. Cooper, LMFT, is the owner/operator of a private therapy, coaching, and consulting practice in Scottsdale, AZ, and is licensed in Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. He serves as a research associate and a senior member of Dr. Moore's research team. Clinton’s research interests include exercise, weight, and eating-related disorders, couples’ issues, health disparities in minority populations, sexuality, gender identity, and elder populations within individual, couple, family, and larger systemic relationships. Mr. Cooper can be reached at clint@clintcoopertherapy.com

Charles Williams, Jr. is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in the state of Arkansas. He works at a treatment facility in central Arkansas and he his is completing a degree in Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS. He is interested in the impact of economic disparities on families, self-image, toxic shame, faith-based organizations, trauma, and utilizing systems theory and other evidenced based practices in his work within individuals, couples, and families. Mr. Williams ca be reached at cwcharlesmwilliamsjr@gmail.com

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