• Patrick Norris

62. Dr. Todd Bowman – The Psychological Challenges and Privileges of a Pastor’s Kid




Welcome to Episode #62 of the Red Ink Revival Leadership Podcast. Today’s conversation is with Dr. Todd Bowman, a psychologist, neuroscientist, and amazing human being as we talk through the unique positives and challenges of being a pastor’s kid (PK). We know that even the healthiest PKs have had to process various challenges to become healthy. A few considerations we talk through:

  • The impact of family and church family systems where a PK fills a character role.

  • What it’s like for a PK to be known by all, when most are not relationally invested or qualified to engage what they know.

  • Comparing the privileges and unique opportunities of being a PK against the challenges.

  • How a PK’s identity diffusion is molded by church members expectations of the behaviors, beliefs, and politics of a PK.

  • How peers project that a PK must be a theological scholar due to their birth.

  • What it’s like for a PK to have “friends for life” whose parents transition out of the church with disgruntled frustration, building emotional frameworks around rejection and betrayal.

  • How social anxiety can creep into a PK due to the pressures to live up to undefined standards.

  • What it’s like to develop a sense of Self, while in the shadow of big pastoral personalities and the projected templates a PK is supposed to fit into.

  • A PK’s unique challenges of learning to be an integrated person–a person with the same values at home, church, and school.

  • How living life in a fishbowl forms emotional circuitry in a PK, often catalyzing anxieties, panic, rage, and more.

  • Ways to make sense of, repair, and restore your story as a PK.

Dr. Bowman is the Associate Professor of Counseling at Indiana Wesleyan University, an Adjunct Professor for Human Sexuality at Nazarene Theological Seminary, an Adjunct Professor of the Intro to Psychology at Nazarene Bible College, and an assessing psychologist for evaluating seminary applicants for ministry training.


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Edited and produced by Evan (Emac) McAlister

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