The Good Shepherd is a good priest concerned about his community and the people over all, even if this means being Reassigned to Antarctica by the uncaring or corrupt bishop, being terrorized by the local gang or becoming a martyr sooner than they ever expected...
He may be a Badass Preacher because as the quote says, wolves come and the flock need protection. If all his fellows are are fighters, they are Church Militant. At the other extreme he may be an Actual Pacifist, (which is no less awesome), and despite Men Are the Expendable Gender, attacks on him are particulary evil. When he is a military chaplain, he can encompass either type; under The Laws and Customs of War, he is a noncombatant and required not to fight.
The Saintly Church is, of course, replete with them, but even the Corrupt Church may have several — usually low-ranking, with the few Good Shepherds in the higher ranks either attempting to reform the church or being totally oblivious to the sins of his coworkers. Indeed some can be found ministering to the unfortunate of the Wretched Hive. Voluntarily. The downside of them acting as the Good Samaritan is that they have many more people who need help, and indeed, The Hero may find himself needing to give more help than he gets. He may also feature as The Missionary, in which case The Hero may find help in even less likely locations — but again, will be limited in resources. He may also assist as the Turbulent Priest. Regardless, expect him to advocate "God Is Good (all the time)".
The Preacher Man is usually a Good Shepherd.
The word "shepherd", due to various biblical stories, has definite positive connotations in and of itself.
In terms of rank, the Authority Tropes arguably equal are Badass Preacher, Corrupt Corporate Executive, Irish Priest, Preacher Man, Pedophile Priest, Schoolteachers, Sexy Priest, Sinister Minister and The Vicar. For the next step down, see Student Council President. For the next step up, see Dean Bitterman.
- Yun in Simoun. She inspires several of the other sibyllae to start acting like this, from the quietly devout Rodoreamon to the religiously disinclined Aaeru.
- Abel Nightroad from Trinity Blood. A priest/special agent for the post-apocalyptic Vatican. Abel is very kind, and through a combination of comedic melodrama and sheer feather-brainedness tends to come off as a harmless ditz. If the wolves come...
- Father Juliano from Witch Hunter Robin comes off more as this despite the generally dark religious tone. He genuinely thought witches were dangerous but couldn't kill Baby Robin, despite knowing what she was. Instead he raised her as his own and admitted that his fear of witches (the emotion driving the Big Bad) is a weakness of his own heart, and no fault of the witches. He blesses The Protagonist and encourages her endeavors.
- Nora from Spice and Wolf is this trope in addition to being a literal sheep herder. She's a very nice and devout girl who used to work at a convent caring for the poor.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: According to Kyoko, Mr. Sakura (a Japanese Christian priest of unspecified denomination) was brought to tears by the troubles he read in newspapers, and preached about ways to resolve them.
- Trigun: Nicoholas Wolfwood is a heroic character that dresses like a priest, hears confessions, and jokes that his cross Punisher is "full of mercy". The Badlands Rumble movie strengthens this perception because he refers to himself as "a man of the cloth".
- Hellsing: Alexander Anderson is a humble catholic priest that raises orphans, who adore him. Although he looks down on Protestants, he still considers them part of God's kingdom and worthy of his protection.
- Sword Art Online: Sasha is a priest-type player who cares for younger players in a orphange-like set up.
- Saint Bro'Dee Walker from Green Lantern. As his world faced imminent destruction, he gave sermons in public as his people rioted and looted in despair. Then a few started listening to him. Gradually, a few became many, and then many became all.
- Highfather of the New Gods serves as both temporal and spiritual leader of his people. He was originally Izaya, warrior of New Genesis, who grew tired of the constant fighting with the dark god of Apokolips, was contacted by the Source, and ended the war, founded Supertown, and continued to serve as intermediary between the New Gods and The Source. He comes complete with all-powerful shepherd's staff and Abraham Lincoln beard.
- Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame has the Archdeacon. Besides Phoebus, he really seems to be the only truly accepting authority figure around.
- Fr. Barry from On the Waterfront uses his position to castigate corruption on the waterfront and help the dockworkers to organize.
- Fr. Merrin from The Exorcist casts out demons and teaches Karras to do the same.
- Rev. Spence in One Foot in Heaven is this. He is a caring and conscientious Protestant minister who tends to his flock, helping them with their problems and leading their church, never complaining when they fail to raise his salary over the years or fail to adequately maintain the parsonage that he lives in.
- Father Flanagan from Boys Town, who dedicates his life to helping troubled and impoverished young boys, eventually founding the (Real Life) "Boys Town" institution as a home for boys.
- Fr. Damien of Molokai, as played by David Wenham, fits the trope. Based on a true story; he was canonized in 2009.
- Fr. O'Malley from Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary's. a gentle soul who has dedicated himself to helping poor and troubled kids.
- Fr. Moor from The Exorcism of Emily Rose is presented as a sincere and caring person who tries to help Emily.
- Don Pietro from Rome, Open City, who works for the Resistance against the Nazis and eventually is killed for his work.
- Reverend Oliver from The Patriot.
Reverend Oliver: A shepherd must tend his flock... [snatches off wig and puts on black, broad-brimmed hat] and at times, fight off the wolves.
- Père Jean from Au revoir les enfants hides Jewish boys from Nazi Germany in his boarding school. He gives a sermon that sounds suspiciously like this.
- Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty from The Scarlet and the Black, which is Based on a True Story. O'Flaherty exploits the Vatican's diplomatic immunity from Nazi Germany to shepherd POWs to safety.
- The Book of Eli: Eli is a good man who teaches prayer and quotes scripture. The only thing he's lacking is formal ordination.
- Fr. Riccardo Fontana from Amen has a greater understanding of 'forgiveness' than cardinals and Jesus' lesson about the heart of the law instead of the letter of it.
- In the church scene in Man of Steel, Clark confides in a priest about his identity and his next move. The priest encourages him to 'take a leap of faith' in regards to trusting humans.
- Parson Brown in The Strong Man is leading a campaign against the bootleggers and thugs who have turned the formerly peaceful town of Cloverdale into a Wretched Hive.
- Father Malone in The Fog. He was horrified to learn that the actions of his Grandfather led to the deaths of a group trying to establish a leper colony. When confronted by the ghost of Blake, the man his Grandfather betrayed, he offered up himself as a Heroic Sacrifice, while at the same time returning to Blake the gold his Grandfather had stolen.
- Monsieur Vincent is a Biopic about 17th century cleric Vincent de Paul, who in Real Life was canonized by the Catholic Church for his tireless work in helping the poor and downtrodden of France. He has to fight apathy and class prejudice all the way.
- In The Living Wake, K. Roth stumbles across a church during a nervous breakdown (one of several he's had that day). He's greeted by three members of the clergy, and they are some of the only people in the film to not treat K. Roth with contempt, reassuring him that God will forgive his mistakes and accept him into Heaven. Their kindness inspires K. Roth to give religion a go... but he's openly dismayed when they tell him the first step is to try and patch things up with his family.
Pastor: Love thy brother.
K. Roth: Oh, that won't do. My brother's an asshole.
- Ayatani Zweil in Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels. He first joined them when they were heading toward the Saint's shrine, declaring that therefore they were pilgrims, and his job was providing guidance to pilgrims.
- In Blood Pact, Gaunt muses over why the canterkous old priest was still with them; it was hard to mine his wisdom, but he held the services and faithfully attended to the dying and the dead.
- Necropolis has another example of one. When Gaunt installs a makeshift command centre in an Imperial cathedral, he clearly expects the local high priest to be enraged with the Guard disturbing the sacred place. The man of cloth calmly answers that active fight against the Chaos has more worth in the eyes of the Emperor than thousands of his prayers.
- The Bishop of Digne from Les Misérables. Not only does he show Valjean hospitality when everyone else shunned him, he forgives him for stealing the silverware. He's personally responsible for Valjean's HeelFace Turn and all the good he does thereafter.
- Reverend Mightily Oats is a bit short on faith to be exactly this, but he's a priest and one of the Good Guys, so close enough. By the end of Carpe Jugulum in which he first appears, he's gotten over his lack of faith. He appears only in the backstory of Unseen Academicals, but from Nutt's memories of him, he appears to have grown into the role.
- Brutha of Small Gods, whose unswerving belief in Om makes him the only thing keeping Om from disappearing entirely. He ends up shepherding his own god.
- Small Gods also plays with the "shepherd" concept, by suggesting the Omnian church might have been different if Om's first encounter with a human had been with a goatherd:
"For sheep are stupid, and must be driven. But goats are intelligent, and need to be led."
- Though not religious, Granny Aching of the Chalk was an example of this trope in every other respect, the literal one included.
- The parson from The Canterbury Tales
He was a shepherde and noght a mercenarie.
And thogh he hooly were and vertuous,
He was to synful men nat despitous,
Ne of his speche daungerous ne digne,
But in his techyng discreet and benynge.
- The wandering septon encountered by Brienne in the fourth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire. Mind, given the nature of the setting he'll probably turn out to be evil, or die in a horrible fashion. Winds up head of the church and, as a bonus, gets to put Cersei in her place several times. He could still die horribly though.
- In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, the Space Wolves find Brother Malburius, ministering and acting as The Medic, in the horrors of the Terra underhive.
- Mercedes Lackey's novel The Lark and the Wren had a venial priest refuse to marry two wandering bards. A few days later the bards found one of these Good Shepherds, voluntarily exiled to a little backwater, who obliged.
- Page quote: Jesus, obviously, complete with ministering to the lepers, prostitutes and dregs, being harassed by Pharisees and becoming a sacrifice to atone for the sins of Mankind.
- Don Camillo, titular character of a series of stories by Giovannino Guareschi, is the hard-fisted, hot-tempered, but goodhearted priest of an Italian village in the '50s and '60s. The local Communist party, especially the village mayor, gripe about him as a reactionary — but they don't want anyone else performing their religious sacraments, thank you very much.
- Don Camillo is also very much a Badass Preacher. He and the mayor often settle their differences with their fists. (At one point the mayor leaves an unexploded WWII bomb outside Don Camillo's door with the words "Eester Gift" written on it. Don Camillo picks it up by himself and leaves it outside the mayor's door with a note that the mayor needs to work on his spelling of "Easter".)
- Some of the earlier stories make pretty clear that the local bishop at the time is also a Good Shepherd, a wise and kindly old man who, for instance, can see that the Communists in Camillo's village are basically good people even if they do claim to be atheists (except when it's time for baptisms, marriages, funerals, and the non-commercial aspects of Christmas, Easter, etc.). The Communists speak to him with respect ... and when they talk about the trouble Don Camillo gives them, it's hard to tell if they're complaining or bragging.
- In one arc, the communists manage to talk the bishop into reassigning Don Camillo to another parish. The bishop replaces him with a total wimp. The communists are so disgusted with the new priest that they beg the bishop to give them Don Camillo back.
- Rebbe Saunders in The Chosen is this in some ways, though he is hard to understand and something of a Well-Intentioned Extremist .
- In The Dresden Files, Father Forthill. Doubles as attorney for his parishioners and is a Church Militant as part of the Ordo Malleus, though more a Non-Action Guy to Michael's Knight In Shining Armour. Also a Retired Badass, as his backstory includes him and a group of other seminarians hunting down and killing a vampire plaguing the town they were visiting.
- In Connie Willis's Doomsday Book, the priest faithfully ministers to the dying until he succumbs to the Black Death himself.
- In Steve Parker's Warhammer 40,000 novel Gunheads, Confessor Friedrich. Wulfe trusts him with his confidences — and is particularly moved by his retrieving the bodies of the dead from tanks.
- Maikel Staynair, Archbishop of Safehold's Church of Charis, radiates a strong but gentle aura wherever he goes, which only the most bigoted can deny. A common habit of his, as he walks down the alter to his pulpit, to stop and speak to people, bless those in need, and see their children, and he continues to do this even after it almost gets him assassinated. Also of note is Paityr Wylsynn, a member of the Inquisition who discharges his duties in full fairness, in stark contrast to nearly all the other members of the Inquisition.
- As of the fourth book, A Mighty Fortress, Vicar Rhobair Duchairn is making a sincere effort to become this in the wake of Grand Inquisitor Clyntahn's latest crossing of the Moral Event Horizon, largely because it's all he can do without becoming a victim of the Inquisition himself.
- Zhaysyn Cahnyr qualifies, though his actions have been off-screen until he's had to flee his archdiocese.
- In 1634: The Galileo Affair, a young man who isn't even Christian at all notes that Father Larry Mazzare "could have served as a poster model for Priest, Catholic, small town, finest example thereof.". It is also frequently pointed out that while Father Mazzare is a good, but not unusual priest by 20th century standards, by 17th century standards he is a living saint.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Space Cadet, when persuading the hero that an apparent accident was a real one and not a put on job to scare the candiates, someone asks him whether he has ever heard of St. Barbara, explains that she is the Patron Saint of those in dangerous occupations, and tells him that if he goes to the chapel dedicated to her, he will find that the priest is saying Mass for those who died in the accident. This convinces him, because of course the priest would not fake such a thing.
- In Mary Doria Russell's novel The Sparrow, the Jesuits send linguist and priest Emilio Sandoz to minister to a newly discovered civilization in the Alpha Centauri system. Sandoz is a model clergyman — kind, intelligent, curious, idealistic — to the point where he is widely considered as a candidate for sainthood. Too bad he ends up undergoing one of the worst cases of Break the Cutie EVER.
- In Robert E. Howard's "Jewels Of Gwahlur" Conan the Barbarian is astounded by one.
"No. He believes in his gods, and is incorruptible. He knows nothing about this. He will obey the oracle. It was all Thutmekri's plan. Knowing the Keshani would consult the oracle, he had Zargheba bring me with the embassy from Zembabwei, closely veiled and secluded."
"Well, I'm damned!" muttered Conan. "A priest who honestly believes in his oracle, and can not be bribed."
- The Reverend Septimus Harding in the Barchester novels by Anthony Trollope.
- In Lord Dunsany's The Charwoman's Shadow, the priest frees the hero from his false shadow, explains what the Evil Sorcerer did, and after the hero succeeds, provides shelter for the Love Interest until such time as her lowly birth will not be an obstacle to their marriage.
- Abbot Radulfus from Brother Cadfael series. Actually both abbots qualify, but in addition to being genuinely caring about people, Radulfus is very, very competent.
- Prior Philip who eventually becomes Bishop in Ken Follet's The Pillars of the Earth. Unlike many of the other churchmen and authority figures in the book, his religious beliefs motivate him to help the poor, forgive his enemies, and inspire others to do likewise.
- Common among medicine cats in Warrior Cats.
- In Rick Cook's Limbo System, Father Simon, whose sage advice is valued among the humans and who accidentally starts converting aliens to Christianity while prisoner.
- Song at Dawn has many Christian clergy but the character that best fits the description of 'caring for the flock and fighting off the wolves' is the jewish rabbi Ravaad. Other examples include:
- A nameless monk in a Templar base wants to stop the Crusade killing and establish a metaphorical Holy Land in western Europe. He warns Dragonetz against his paper mill idea because he knows how the Church as an organization will respond.
- Marcabru is better called a 'Good Is Not Nice Shepherd' as he's a sourpuss that can't open his mouth without making clear his disdain of everyone but he preaches self-disipline, doing God's work and never steps into Knight Templar territory.
- The arcbishop can play this role to perfection as the most benevolent, paternal and understanding man in the world, but he's actually a Sinister Minister.
- Harry Potter has the Fat Friar, ghost of Hufflepuff House. He's the only one to suggest giving Peeves the trouble-making Poltergeist another chance (again, and again, and again). Pottermore reveals he died because he was too nice for his own good - "senior churchmen grew suspicious of his ability to cure the pox merely by poking peasants with a stick". That, and an ill-advised habit of pulling rabbits out of the communion cup.
- The minister of St Ogg's, Dr Kenn, from The Mill on the Floss, who donates most of his income to charitable causes and who takes Maggie into his home and employs her after she falls victim to a scandal and is ostracised by the town.
- Pete the Vicar, a minor character in The Laundry Files novel The Apocalypse Codex. Bob Howard, despite being a Nay-Theist posing as an atheist, genuinely respects the work he does for the community; Pete, conversely, respects Bob's apparent lack of belief. Contrasts sharply with the Corrupt Church baddies, to the point that a look through their Apocrypha-heavy version of the Bible is enough to convince Pete they're not even really Christians.
- Stephen Kumalo from Cry, the Beloved Country, the humble, gentle and trusting protagonists of the novel, and his friends Theophilus Msimangu and Father Vincent, Anglican priests who are devoted to spiritual and social work among the poor of Sophiatown, as well as to building friendship and reconciliation between the white and black peoples of South Africa.
- The Hakham Dawid in A Wolf In The Soul is the spiritual guide for the five students of his tiny yeshiva. He almost certainly has some sort of psychic abilities that help him seek out the people who need him most, and he is also likely the most patient person on Earth.
- Journey to Chaos: A running total of benevolent clergy
- There is only one priestess to welcome Eric at the Temple of Zaticana because the others are busy volunteering. Vesta herself is friendly and helpful.
- Abbot Tolis is the leader of the international protest of Latrot's use of ordercraft to brainwash sapients note and has maintained this stance despite several attempts on his life.
- A (unnamed) priest from the Circle of Noitearc lives in Ceiha helping the locals to eek out a living by sheltering them from their oppressive government.
- Neuro is a member of the Broterhood of Death and he is introduced tracking a criminal necrocraft user. He compensates this criminal's victims as best as he can and blesses Tiza and Nolien's not-quite-there relationship.
- The kind and wise imam Sheikh Bilal in Alif the Unseen is an Islamic version of this trope.
- G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown is an embodiment of Chesterton's optimism and Catholic faith, in the form of a short, unremarkable looking priest from the English countryside. Father Brown sees plenty of evil in his role as an Amateur Sleuth, but he remains kind and steadfast in his faith. His early stories are largely focused on his attempts to rehabilitate the Gentleman Thief, Flambeau.
- In The Divine Comedy, Saint Francis of Assisi is compared to a prince, a seraphim, and a husband faithful even in the face of death in his dedication to his vow of poverty. By founding the Franciscan Order and agreeing to be laid low, Francis avoided the arrogance of his wealthy compatriots and earned the praise of the choir's of Heaven.
- Father Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov is regarded as a living saint by just about everyone who knows him, and he is indeed a deeply kind and wise person. Sadly, the people's fickleness is demonstrated when, after he dies, his body does what dead bodies do and starts to stink. According to local superstition, a saint's body should not decay, so people start gossiping horribly about what secret sins Zosima must have been hiding.
- Shepherd Book from Firefly is this trope in the main narrative. He's the religious authority on the Serenity, for what that's worth, and he gets bonus points for the name.
Shepherd Book: I don't care what you believe in, just believe in it.
- Rev Bem from Andromeda, is part of the heros' team but is pressed into service of The Dark Side; and having passed the test, leaves on a journey of self discovery to see if his conversion was true or false.
- Fr. Hugh O'Flaherty in The Scarlet and the Black, which is based on the real story of a priest working at the Vatican, who took in Jews and POWs, hiding them from the Nazis.
- Vedek Bareil in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Allowed himself to be blamed for a massacre, so as not to destroy the people's faith in Kai Opaka, and brokered peace between the Cardassians and the Bajorans.
- The Rev. Adam Smallbone in Rev. He may be flawed, but when it comes to it, he always does the right thing.
- Mark the hospital chaplain in Being Human. He's a man of genuine faith and courage, including standing his ground when faced with vampires - and holding them off. Twice.
- Shepherd Schlag from Seventeen Moments of Spring is a rare example of a Good Shepherd in the Soviet media because being religious at all made your life difficult in the Soviet Union, let alone being a cleric.
- DS James Hathaway from Lewis. Cambridge Theology graduate who was training to be a priest before he changed careers and became a policeman. He still shows signs of being very spiritual, but has hinted at religious doubts several times.
Lewis: Maybe there is a god.
Hathaway: If I was sure of that, I wouldn't have joined the police force.
- A first episode Mr. Show sketch has Father Jim (played by Bob Odenkirk). Unfortunately, he's also a bit of a pushover, he ends up doing whatever a Jerkass party guest tells him to do even though no one agreed to his stupid bet.
- Father Mulcahy from M*A*S*H. Catholic, of Irish descent, and endlessly compassionate, providing religious services, last rites, averting There Are No Therapists for the unit, and helping out at a local orphanage in his off hours. He plays poker with the staff regularly - and donates all his winnings to the orphanage. He also taught boxing in the CYO, has a right hook that can stop a truck (not that he'll use it, being a pacifist), and once administered a tracheotomy while under enemy fire with nothing but a pocketknife and an eyedropper tube. His views on the mixed religious makeup of the locals and the unit can be (and have been summed up on this very wiki) as "it's more important that you have faith than what that faith is in."
- Vikings: Athelstan takes his vocation seriously; his 'greatest treasure' is an unadorned Bible, and he refuses to join a threesome with Ragnar and Lagertha because of his vow of celibacy. Ragnar is so impressed with his character that he puts him in charge of the family farm while he's gone. And despite Athelstan's gradual integration into Viking society, he continues to exhibit the best traits of both the Catholic priesthood and Christianity itself, eventually becoming a Morality Chain to Ragnar and several of the other Vikings.
- Tyrant: Sheik Abdullah, despite seeming pretty ambiguous at first, appears to be shaping out as this. He tells his supporters not to use violence, and manages to defuse a confrontation with the military. Despite being Islamist, he thinks the Army of the Caliphate's actions are absurd and barbaric.
- Robin Hood: Friar Tuck is the only holyman that consistently gets good ink. He's just as heroic as Robin's Merry Men.
- Reverend Hale in The Crucible is initially very excited to bring the Good News to Salem, but as the hysteria grows he becomes more and more cynical until he gives up entirely and says Screw This, I'm Outta Here!. The whole time he did his best to be a Reasonable Authority Figure in the face of Abigail's fear mongering.
- Father Raul in The Longest Journey is a catholic priest who operates a church in the worst slums of the cyberpunk metropolis Newport, doing his best to give guidance to the lost souls in the neighborhood. He is also secretly a Sentinel—member of an Ancient Tradition that protects the Balance—and when April inquires how his faith in Christ meshes with knowledge of the parallel, magic-driven world of Arcadia, he simply points out: "The Balance was created by someone, was it not?"
- Priest Bruno in Dark Chronicle. As a support character, he can revive you from death once and sell you status recovery items.
- Daleyon in Ys Seven more or less fits this description. He is a kind man who genuinely cares for other people.
- Dragon Age:
- Revered Mother Dorothea in the Dragon Age: Origins DLC "Leliana's Song" is a kind mentor who manages to simultaneously give hope to Leliana, convince her to turn her back on her violent past, and use Leliana's skills to retrieve state-sensitive intelligence stolen from Dorothea earlier. Later on, she becomes Divine Justinia and almost manages to prevent Thedas from descending into chaos before her untimely death in Inquisition (even then, it is her final orders that establish the eponymous organization that ultimately succeeds in restoring order).
- Grand Cleric Elthina of Dragon Age II is a kindly old lady who advocates peace above all else and is a mother figure to party member Sebastian Vael. On the other hand, she prefers to put her faith in the Maker's plan instead of taking any direct action - you can warn her about the Sinister Minister under her nose twice and not get anywhere. Her death sets off the civil war of Kirkwall for the final act.
- Mother Giselle in Dragon Age: Inquisition is presented as one of the moderate clerics from the start and becomes the Chantry's liaison with the reformed Inquisition—even before the Chantry officially recognizes it. When you first meet her, she is organizing relief operations for the Fereldan refugees of the Mage-Templar war, and later on moves to Skyhold to provide the voice of reason and moderation to the Inquisition's leaders.
- Also in Inquisition, if a softened Leliana becomes Divine Victoria, she'll end the tyranny of the Circles, rededicate the Chantry to the cause of charity, and admit other races to the priesthood. And then when she faces resistance to her reforms, she'll talk to the leaders of the would-be splinter sects and get them on board with her message with no loss of life, becoming a figure of peace, justice and unity just like her mentor. If hardened, she'll still reform the Chantry for the better, and drown the resistance in blood.
- Pastor Carter of Harvest Moon: Back to Nature and Friends of Mineral Town is pleasant, kind, and not above a good laugh, and he gives decent advice now and then. Same thing can go to any clergyman or woman in the series.
- The Elder Scrolls:
- In Morrowind, nearly all of the lower-ranking priests of the Tribunal Temple count, despite the Temple itself having numerous Corrupt Church traits. Nearly all of the quests they offer involve healing the sick, delivering supplies to the poor, escorting pilgrims, and/or eliminating legitimate threats to the people of Morrowind. It isn't until you get up into the higher ranks, particularly the leadership of the Church Militant/Knight Templar Ordinators, that the corruption becomes evident.
- A lot of the priests encountered in Skyrim tend towards this archetype. Runil is a priest of Arkay first encountered giving last rites over the grave of a child and comfort to her parents. Maramal is a friendly, community-oriented priest of Mara who will officiate your wedding, and his wife Dinya Balu is also a priestess of Mara who sends you on a quest to spread the love across Skyrim. Erandur is another priest of Mara who used to be a follower of the Daedric prince Vaermina who takes it upon himself to rid Dawnstar of its nightmare plague in the name of his goddess to atone for helping to cause it in the name of his Daedric prince. The various priests of Talos take this in a different direction, ministering to the populace as usual in open defiance of the infamous ban on Talos worship (which could result in their deaths by torture if the Thalmor catch them). Even the Vigilants of Stendarr, no matter how you feel about them, do what they do in the name of protecting humanity from the Daedra.
- Overwatch: The Shambali Monastery is full of these.
- Zenyatta is a monk working on a mobile ministry of helping others, be they flesh or mechanical. Part of his skillset is healing his allies.
- Tekhartha Mondatta is a benevolent holy (robot) man preaching coexistence between humans and omnics.
- Tales Series:
- Ion from Tales of the Abyss is the figurehead of a rather Corrupt Church, so his power is limited. He is, however, very kind, willing to help the heroes at every turn, does not hold grudges and believes that adhering to the Score religiously is not the only course of action.
- Ange from Tales of Innocence has a reputation as a holy woman who will cure any malady or disability. She is able to make cripples walk, restore people's eyesight and rescue people at the brink of death. She is also self-sacrificing, kind to children and offers assistance to anyone in need. At the end of the game, she is seen taking care of orphans.
- Pastor Karen from Night in the Woods. She's a very kind woman, is trying to open a homeless shelter, and gladly strikes up a friendship with Mae, despite Mae's religious beliefs (or lack thereof). She uses her faith as a tool to help people of all backgrounds, creeds, and lifestyles. She privately admits her own faith in God is wavering, and she hopes that, by convincing other people to believe, she can convince herself, too.
- Father Sean Hampton in Vampyr serves as the pillar for the Docks District, and is extremely protective of its people. He gets infected with vampirism in the first place because he offered his arm for one desperate Skal to feed on. He becomes a weird combination of this trope and a Sinister Minister after turning into a Skal, since he still clings to his faith as a vampire but proceeds to feed on raw human flesh. Depending on the Player Character' choice, he can become a proper Friendly Neighborhood Vampire and remain firmly in Good Shepherd territory, since he will only feed on rats and keep protecting the Docks.
- Goblin Hollow: the local minister suppresses the Witch Hunt by discussing what is appropriate for church-sponsored organizations, is perfectly pleased by the rules of no gory costumes or fortune telling (though Ben doesn't tell him those were the rules all along), and listens when he talks about D&D.
- Tales of the Questor: Brother Linnaeus heading out into the dangers of the swamp because Quentyn tells him that the Gragum want to know why God not come to them.
- Dissonance: Pastor Peter.
Peter: The most important thing I've learned as a preacher... It's that it's not as important to remember people's names so much as what they have to teach you.
- Larriki the hawkfolk priest from Nahast: Lands of Strife. In addition, he's a priest of the goddess of dawn and so likes to remind people that dawn always comes, even when it seems that there's no hope left.
- The Order of the Stick: Redcloak is this for the goblin species; spiritual leader and connection to their diety. Failing to live up to this for all goblin races is part of his My God, What Have I Done?.
Redcloak: I'm the high priest of the Dark One! I'm supposed to shepherd the goblin people — all goblins!''
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: The long-deceased Lutheran pastor whose spirit lingers in the present day is a sweet old lady who serves coffee and cake to unexpected guests. Near the end of her lifetime, her chruch served as an impromptu hospital for victims of The Plague and she invoked Greater Need Than Mine when said church got a supply of an experimental cure that was nowhere near big enough for all of its patients.
- Ivanhoe: The King's Knight: The Archbishop of Canterbury is fair, neutral man in the conflicts between the followers of King Richard and Prince John and even chews out the latter when his schemes have been revealed to all.
- Father Maxi from South Park started out as The Fundamentalist, but was eventually changed into a genuinely decent person with the best interests of his congregation at heart, as well as the only Catholic priest in the world who doesn't molest children.
- As a rule of thumb, all the saints qualify for this trope. Being canonized basically means they were very good shepherds.
- Fred Rogers was known for being so inexplicably kind, good-hearted, loving, tolerant, and generous to all people, regardless of their faith or past actions, that he's been often thought of by many people as being more Christ-like than even some literal saints.
- During WWII, on the Greek island of Zakynthos, the Nazis ordered the local bishop, Bishop Chrysostomos, at gunpoint to go to the mayor's office and come back with a list of all the Jews on the island. The bishop came back with a list that had only two names: the mayor's name, and his own and told the Nazis "Here are your Jews. If you choose to deport the Jews of Zakynthos, you must also take me and I will share their fate."
- Another World War II example, Father Maximillian Kolbe was a prisoner in Auschwitz. Father Kolbe volunteered to replace one of the men, who had a wife and children, who was condemned to die after one of the men from the barracks went missing. He was canonized as a saint in 1982; the man whose life he saved was present.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German Lutherian pastor and anti-Nazi dissident. He expressed vocal opposition to Hitler's euthanasia program and the Jewish persecutions. Arrested in 1943, he was later convicted of being tied with the 20 July Plot against Hitler, and eventually executed less than a month before Nazi Germany surrender in 1945.
- One Father Damien stayed on the island of Molokai to tend to those with Leprosy, eventually contracting the disease himself and dying. He was canonized as a saint in 2009.
- Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty was the head of a massive operation to hide Jews and escaped POWs in Rome and the Vatican.
- Martin Luther King Jr; reverend and civil rights activist. Nothing would deter him from battling segregation and poverty in the USA and always non-violently.
- Pope Francis has been called "The People's Pope" because of his message of tolerance and ministering to the poor.
- The Reverend Wilbert Awdry - creator of the books that would later serve as the basis for Thomas the Tank Engine. Not only did he live a modest lifestyle in spite of the £7 million in royalties that the series earned (it was reported that he had given the majority of it to his seven grandchildren, a railway society, and various other charities), he also refused to serve in the Second World War due to his staunch Christian pacifism.
- After MC Hammer became a Pentecostal minister around the turn of the 21st century, the "M.C." changed from "Master of Ceremonies" to "Man of Christ". Even before that, a line in U Can't Touch This praises God for blessing him with "a mind to rhyme and two hype feet".
- During the German occupation of Europe, many Catholic priests helped Jewish fugitives against Nazi persecution by handing them forged baptism certificates.