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Due Date: Proposals are due January 15, 2021

Pastoral Relations Commission, Shining Waters Regional Council

Project Overview:

The Vision Statement of Shining Waters Regional Council (SWRC) is:
Striving to be faithful followers of Jesus in our time and place, Shining Waters Regional Council will continue to remove physical and other barriers to participation in the life and work of the Region and society, committing itself to be open to the Spirit.  Resisting all forms of oppression, we welcome and celebrate people of all abilities, any sexual orientation and gender identity, racialized persons, and all others who are marginalized, in the life and work of the Region.   (Approved May 2019).

Based on that Vision Statement, the Equity Committee, a recommending body to the Executive of SWRC asked each Commission and Committee SWRC in the fall of 2020 to create an equity goal.

The Pastoral Relations Commission (PRC) considered this question on September 29, 2020: How are our practices reproducing inequity? Do our policies aim to specifically increase equity?  The PRC members reviewed its policies and concluded that they needed more data in order to understand the impact of pastoral relations policies and whether or not those policies furthered resistance to all forms of oppression, and welcome and celebrate people of all abilities, any sexual orientation and gender identity, racialized persons, and all others who are marginalized.

The PRC decided to instigate a research project called the Equity Goal Research Project.

The mandate of the Pastoral Relations Commission can be found here.

Project Goals:

The goal of the Equity Goal Research Project is to answer these interrelated questions: Collect data on the pastoral relations process from entry point to the end of the first year answering this question: How does unconscious racist/sexist/ableist bias hinder or create barriers for minsters in the congregational setting?  Who is chosen?  Are there differences in the terms of the pastoral relationship between ministers who are White and all other racialized ministers and why?  Also look at that question for the LGTBQi community.  What is the experience of racialized, BIPOC, differently abled and LGTBQi ministers after one year on their pastoral relationship – How does unconscious racist/sexist/ableist bias affect their health, joy and excellence in ministry? (Approved October 27, 2020)

Scope of Work:

The selected researcher will be responsible for the development of the following:

  • Knowledge of qualitative research methodology that can address the research goal
  • Demonstrate an understanding of paid accountable ministry within the United Church of Canada
  • Willingness to engage ministry personnel within SWRC through online format such as Zoom
  • Willingness to work with an advisory group (made up of 2-3 members of the PRC)
  • Written report based on the qualitative research and findings

Current Roadblocks and Barriers to Success:

  • During COVID-19 face to face restrictions, the researcher will be limited to online face to face connections for individual and focus group interviews.

Evaluation of a qualitative study:

The following will be evaluative questions used to determine the quality of the research proposal and report:

  • Are the study’s questions or topics clearly stated?
  • Is the selection of participants or materials clearly justified?
  • Are the methods for gathering and analysing observations clearly described?

Validity will be evaluated by convergence or triangulation, seeking information from multiple data sources, multiple methods, and multiple earlier theories or interpretations, to arrive at an evaluation of an interpretation’s trustworthiness to the question.


  • Submission deadline for proposals – January 15, 2021
  • A decision by the Pastoral Relations Commission on choice of researcher – February 1, 2021
  • PRC needs the project completed by June 1, 2021 and report presented at their June 15, 2021 meeting.

Submission Requirements:

  • A description of qualitative methodology that will be employed in the study.
  • Qualifications and past research projects by researcher
  • A one page outline and timeline of proposed research project that will address the PRC questions.

Project due date:  June 1, 2021                 Budget Amount: $6000

Contact:  Todd McDonald Email Todd McDonald     416-231-7680, ext. 6235

Download the Request for Proposal as  PDF