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2023 Clergy Well-Being Survey

Past Decade Shows Decline in Well-Being for UM Clergy

Since the 2012 survey, there has been a steady decline across almost all dimensions of well-being of UM clergy.

The 2023 survey results showed some positive developments since the previous 2021 survey, especially clergy’s spiritual vitality in daily life and ministry. However, other dimensions of well-being have continued to decline.

See results of the 2023 survey.

Read the press release about this year’s survey results.

Clergy Well-Being Research

Wespath-sponsored Clergy Well-Being Studies

Wespath provides trusted research and information about health trends in the UMC and across the United States that are applicable to clergy health concerns. The resources below include Wespath-sponsored clergy health studies, denominational/clergy health studies from expert external sources and health and wellness-industry information related to clergy health.

Previous Clergy Well-Being Survey Results

Seminary Student Well-Being Survey

Claremont School of Theology—Results from 2013 Annual Seminary Student Health Survey

Church Systems Task Force Research and Findings

Church Systems Task Force Report and Appendix; Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM); 2011

External Denominational/Clergy Well-Being Studies

Duke University Clergy Well-Being Research

2008-2021 Statewide Survey of United Methodist Clergy in North Carolina, Summary Report
CHI Publications: Peer-Reviewed Articles; Clergy Health Initiative Research
Literature Review: Job Satisfaction; Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health and the Lewis Center for Church Leadership; August 2009
High Rates of Obesity and Chronic Disease Among United Methodist Clergy; Duke Clergy Health Initiative

Other Clergy Health Research

Clergy Spouses and Families in The United Methodist Church 2009 Part II: Local Church Expectations and What Clergy Spouses Most Want the UMC to Know; The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women
Virginia Conference Wellness Survey, Executive Summary; Virginia Conference Wellness Ministries, Ltd.
Clergy Health: A Review of Literature; Wespath and the Lewis Center for Church Leadership; January 2009
Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church; Lewis Center for Church Leadership, Wesley Theological Seminary; September, 2018
Cracking the Stained Glass Ceiling: The Lead Women Pastors Project; General Board of Ministry and Higher Education, 2010
Lead Women Pastors Project Survey Data Summary; General Board of Ministry and Higher Education, 2010

Some of these studies are property of Wespath and are intended as resources to those working to improve clergy health and well-being. Before quoting these documents in other published materials, please contact Wespath at [email protected] and provide us information about what content, where and when the material will be cited with appropriate attribution.

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Thank you for your feedback and continued support of denomination-wide clergy and lay worker health.