Thursday, October 26, 2023

Addressing Clergy Mental Health


"Mental health includes emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social well-being. It affects how we think and feel, and how we experience the experience of our lives. It is a major factor in our capacity to experience joy in life, work, and relationships. Our mental health determines how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Challenges to the mental health of clergy commonly involve stress and burnout, marriage and family adjustment, and emotional and functional impairment.

Work-related stress and burnout among clergy have been the focus of many studies.

Some research suggests that burnout results from systemic factors including bureaucracy, poor administrative support, and difficult work conditions—ministry is hard, and getting harder. Other intrapersonal-related factors include religious idealism, Type-A personality factors, narcissism, and perfectionism.(4)

In addition, one research found that clergy experience excessive guilt and issues with their families of origin more frequently than other groups.(5)

As a group, pastors also experience social isolation, often extending even to their professional peers.

One study revealed that ministers have higher levels of occupational distress and depression when compared to national averages."

Read the entire article from Columbia Theological Seminary here.

The above article was written by Israel Galindo, Associate Dean for Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. He directs the Pastoral Excellence Program at Columbia seminary. 

Picture courtesy of Pexels

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