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Much has been learned from the Minister Survey. Researchers and leaders will continue to explore the data over the next year and look to how the information can be shared with leadership, seminaries and ministers so that they can begin the work of encouraging what is helpful and addressing concerns. So, what are the key takeaways from this work? What is promising? What needs addressing?
According to the Call to Ministry Report, the latest report to come out from the Minister Study conducted by PC(USA) Research Services, which is available in English, (with Spanish and Korean versions to be posted soon), half of all ministers heard the call to ministry before the age of 20.
A recently-released 1001 New Worshiping Community 2020 Leader Report continues to show that NWC’s are more racially diverse and younger than PC(USA) congregations.
In the Minister Survey conducted by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Research Services, Ministers of the Word and Sacrament were asked about their experiences with discrimination, opportunities and leadership struggles. Their answers form the basis for the Discrimination, Opportunity, and Struggles of Leadership Report, available in English, Spanish, and Korean.
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.