We believe congregations and communities flourish when pastors have permission and tools to foster their physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Since 2007, the Clergy Health Initiative has been gathering valuable data on the mental, spiritual, and physical well-being issues specific to United Methodist clergy in North Carolina. Our mission is simple but important: we're here to support you and those who have your back, so you can do God's work with energy, creativity, and insight. Our research-based recommendations are designed to help pastors like you maximize your health, so you can thrive in your ministry and in life - because we know that when you're at your best, amazing things can happen.
Who We Serve:
- North Carolina and Western North Carolina UMC clergy and congregational leaders
- Seminary students who anticipate becoming clergy
- Denominational officials and nonprofit leaders who care for clergy
- Academic audiences in occupational health
Ask Us About Our Research On:
- Physical, mental, and spiritual well-being and related practices
- Strategies that flourishing clergy use
- Protective factors against burnout and poor mental health
- Practices to manage stress
Evidence-Based Practices to Support Clergy Well-Being
We know how much you pour your heart and soul into caring for others. But here's the thing: when you take care of yourself, you'll be better equipped to serve and support your congregation with a whole heart. We are dedicated to offering you evidence-based practices, specially designed programs for you and your SPRC/PPRC, and uplifting stories that empower you to prevent burnout and embrace the abundance of life. Remember, you are not alone - we advocate for your well-being alongside denominational officials and fellow clergy leaders. Let's join forces to achieve wholeness together.
Resources for Clergy
Our data-informed strategies are designed just for you. Our resources aim to increase your resilience, protect against burnout, and free up energy to do God's work with a renewed sense of creativity and insight. We're here to help you thrive as you engage in God’s work with your full heart and soul.
Ministering to Ministers: Clergy Health Initiative helps pastors find strength amid stress
The Rev. Shannon Marie Berry ministers to her Freemont, North Carolina, congregation with support from the Duke Clergy Health Initiative, which provides strategies for dealing with the mental and physical stressors of leading a church.
TAKE A BREATH: An Overview of the Selah Stress Management Intervention
The Selah Stress Management Trial identified three stress reduction practices that allow pastors to fully live into the work that God is calling them to do with creativity, insight, and energy – even during the most stressful times.
When Shepherds Shed: Trajectories of Weight-Related Behaviors in a Holistic Health Intervention Tailored for US Christian Clergy Journal of Religion & Health (2023)
The Selah trial: A preference-based partially randomized waitlist control study of three stress management interventions Journal of Religion & Health (2023)
A Two-Year Holistic Health and Stress Intervention: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial in Clergy
American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2017)