Impact Report Highlights a Year in Resources for Today's Clergy and Church

 May 8, 2024

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times.  

– Clarissa Pinkola Estés 

Thank you for showing up to soul work. Whether you’re a longtime pastor, a newly graduated seminarian, or someone still making sense of their sacred purpose, you are what makes the research of the Clergy Health Initiative (CHI) and the Religion and Social Change Lab (RaSCL) matter.  

As a tangible thank you to our research participants and partners, we created an impact report from the last year (which you can find here) that details how we’ve been translating our research into resources that can serve you, including: 

  • A guide to potentially difficult conversations between pastors and church leaders 
  • A handout on the six types of people shaping students’ call stories 
  • A presentation on how adverse child experiences affect future ministerial health 
  • A list of evidence-based well-being practices for clergy 

*Not included is our hot-of-the-press report on the make-up of North Carolina United Methodist Churches after disaffiliation. You can find a copy of that report, and its key findings, here.   

Many of you contributed to the research behind this report, whether through CHI’s Statewide Clergy Health Survey or RaSCL’s Seminary to Early Ministry Study. The result of these efforts has been remarkable: a first-of-its kind data set connecting seminarians and clergy through shifting life stages and landscapes. Our purpose, however, has never been just about collecting data but rather about disseminating data so that it might create ecosystems of well-being at the individual, relational, organizational, institutional, and societal level of today’s churches. 

There is no shortage of opportunities to feel overwhelmed by soul work—which also means opportunities to resource ourselves anew for resilience. Or, if you’re exhausted by the near-constant need to be resilient, perhaps you are resourcing yourself for calmness. Calmness, as author Clarissa Pinkola Estés reminds us above, is a powerful thing, too.