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Assessing the Clergy Supply in the 21st Century

Patricia M. Y. Chang

In this Pulpit & Pew research report, sociologist
Patricia M. Y. Chang examines the current state of supply and demand
for clergy in U.S. churches. Despite such obstacles as conflicting
data and a lack of reliable consistent information across denominations,
Chang is able to present a broad look at clergy supply along with
some helpful answers and policy recommendations. She finds that pastoral
vacancies are primarily a problem of small or rural congregations,
which lack the financial resources to attract and retain a full-time
pastor. As a result, a growing number of congregations will rely upon
lay or part-time clergy for pastoral leadership in the future. The
report also includes commentaries from four observers of the clergy
job market.

Executive summary (html)

Download the full report in Adobe Acrobat
PDF format (1.84 MB).

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