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PC(USA) ministers are generally satisfied with their life and find fulfillment in their call, according to research published in the Minister Wellbeing Report available in English, Spanish, and Korean by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Research Services. However, this overall positive finding hides some underlying issues regarding minister wellbeing. Although 9 in 10 ministers are satisfied with their life, only 41% are very satisfied.
Educational debt is a growing concern for many individuals and families, including Presbyterian ministers.
It comes as no surprise that Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers, like many people, face financial challenges. Most ministers report being financially stable, owning a home, paying their bills, and planning for (or living in) retirement, according to research conducted by PC(USA) Research Services. Available in English, Spanish, and Korean, the Minister Finance Report, which does not include educational debt, shows that about half of all pastors report that their household incomes are sufficient to meet their needs and manage debt. In fact, 25% of non-retired ministers report no consumer debt. However, about 1 in 4 pastors report they cannot afford vacations and big-ticket items.
On the 10th anniversary of the adoption of “Comfort My People: A Policy Paper on Serious Mental Health,” the 223rd General Assembly (2018) funded a two-year mental health initiative based in the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). The mental health questions in the Research Services minister survey were designed in collaboration with PMA staff and are part of a larger study of mental health across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The questions focus on four areas: awareness, training, ministry and self-care.
What do we know about the ministers who serve the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)? Where do they serve? Do they have families at home? Where do they stand politically, socially, or theologically? What age are they? Research Services set out to answer those and related questions.
What are Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers of the Word and Sacrament thinking, feeling, and experiencing in terms of physical, mental, and financial health, satisfaction of call, and more? To answer that question, Research Services conducted the first-ever comprehensive study of ministers.