2017 Clergy Well-Being Survey Reveals Increasingly Active Clergy

August 3, 2017


image of the cover of the report document

The Center for Health of Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) released the 2017 Clergy Well-Being Survey Report with results of its United Methodist Church (UMC) questionnaire identifying clergy health trends.

The 100-question online survey was sent to 4,000 UMC clergy—1,360 responded (34% response rate), representing a cross-section of active UMC clergy by jurisdiction, gender, race/ethnicity, age and clergy status. The survey explored multiple dimensions of well-being (physical, emotional, financial, social and spiritual) and the vocational setting. These factors are found to influence our unique population and continue to be the focus of Wespath’s well-being efforts.

The key findings demonstrated significant progress in clergy activity. Specifically, we have seen a 16% increase in moderate activity levels since 2013. Clergy report nearly four and a half hours of moderate physical activity per week, compared to two and a half hours for a representative sample of U.S. adults.* Conversely, obesity levels remain high, and diabetes rates have not decreased. To improve well-being, Wespath plans to focus on nutrition education, prediabetes management and culture change among its populations.

Other Findings

  • 28% of all clergy have at least some functional difficulty from depressive symptoms—higher than a demographically-matched sample of U.S. adults
  • 25% of clergy experience work-related stress
  • Fewer report working long hours; however, more report less vacation time (one day less than the 2015 survey results)
  • Over one-half (52%) of clergy report they agree or strongly agree they are on track for a comfortable retirement

Click here to read the complete report.

* Clergy data compared to the 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)




close (X)