Calling & Character: Priest Archetype

This week, Dan, Rachael, and Cathy take a deep dive into and further reflect on the archetype of priest. What is required for a priest to grow in their ability to do what priests are meant to do? In this episode, you’ll hear our hosts and Cathy talk about the importance of archetypal thinking, how the archetype of an “orphan” relates to the calling of a priest archetype, and the process by which an orphan is transformed.


“The power of story, the power of character is that they reveal something about ourselves or us that helps us further connect to both our journey and the journey that we have with God and with each other.” Cathy Loerzel

“We don’t want people just to be so-called healed from trauma, though we do, we also want people to enter into trauma to see the character that you are growing in your ability to live out the kingdom.” Dr. Dan Allender

“The core of orphan is that they had a sense of what the world should be, they had a sense that they should be cared for, safe, have rest, be able to trust their world, and that has been taken away. That can either happen through small things over time or large, cataclysmic events.” Cathy Loerzel

“I think in some ways I thought I was a really good priest, but I was actually functioning more as an orphan because there was something I needed to grow in a capacity for honor, autonomy, personhood, and trust—a reconnection to community that allows you to serve people and hold the complexity of joy and sorrow, which is in some ways what a priest gets to offer the people.” Rachael Clinton Chen

“A priest will call you back to gratitude and lament, and both are interwoven into the story of humanity, but the priest can hold both. So, I think what happens is the orphan, who is trying has instincts towards the priest but hasn’t actually grieved their own story, will only want to remember the goodness. A priest who still has a very active orphan will be the one who only wants to tell the good stories.” Cathy Loerzel

“To bear stories and to be a storyteller is such a profound privilege because it’s also a part of identifying yourself, too. When these wounded parts of us experience healing they give us back parts of ourselves as we live into these ways of being in the midst of the kingdom that we’re called to, there is a restoration that happens.” Rachael Clinton Chen


  • We are in a wild, rapidly changing season. You may find yourself resonating with Dan and Rachael’s conversation from a few years back about “Not Doing Well.”
  • Listen to a podcast episode with Dan that engages the categories of prophet, priest, and king/queen titled “Trauma and the Church.”
  • Listen to the first episode in this series, “Character and Calling: Prophet, Priest, King.”