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Study Finds Clergy Have Higher Wellbeing, But Notes Areas for Improvement

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Study Finds Clergy Have Higher Wellbeing, But Notes Areas for Improvement

FāVS News Brief

The Hartford Institute for Religion Research recently conducted a national study that found that clergy tend to be healthier emotionally, spiritually and mentally than the general public. However, the data also revealed nuances — while clergy reported higher wellbeing in some areas, they showed lower levels of prosperity in other areas.

The study – entitled “Challenges are Great Opportunities: Exploring Clergy Health and Wellness in the Midst of Post-Pandemic Malaise” – was conducted based on a survey that was sent out in the Fall of 2023 to more than 1,700 clergy from different Christian backgrounds, including Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox traditions.

Though clergy seem to be thriving in some areas, the study found that physical, financial, and social wellbeing were areas with room for improvement. Another finding was that younger faith leaders tended to report lower levels of wellbeing than their older counterparts. 

Another significant segment of data reported that almost 50% of all the clergy who took part in the study admitted to frequent or intermittent loneliness, which was likely ascribed to relational challenges in the social wellbeing area of the data collection. 

The findings from “Challenges are Great Opportunities” can serve both as informative and as a guide for next steps in order to reduce the areas of struggle that clerical members on a national level may be facing.

“While the overall picture is positive, some religious leaders are struggling in profound ways that need to be addressed,” said Principal Investigator Scott Thumma in a press release. 

Mia Gallegos
Mia Gallegos
Mia Gallegos is a junior studying Journalism and Digital Marketing at Gonzaga University. Her love for journalism began in high school within her hometown of Broomfield, Colorado. She has written for the Gonzaga Bulletin since she first began at GU. Aside from writing, she is a passionate dancer and member of the Gonzaga University Bomb Squad, GU’s exclusively Hip-Hop dance team. Mia is a dedicated Catholic and is excited to be interning with FāVS during the Spring 2024 semester. She is looking forward to learning about religions aside from her own and to gain more journalistic prowess by working with the skilled reporters of FāVS.

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