Addressing Clergy Mental Health

Addressing Clergy Mental Health

There are approximately 243,900 clergy employed in the USA.(1)

They are the spiritual and administrative leaders of faith-based organizations: congregations, churches, non-profits, denominations, etc.

They oversee funerals and weddings, visit ill and homebound congregants, provide spiritual direction and pastoral counseling…

Change requires two kinds of leaders

In whatever organizational context—a small business, a corporation, an educational institution, or a congregation, for change initiatives to begin, the organization needs leaders.

After that, the organization needs effective managers for the changes to succeed.


Organizations tend not to…

The Times They Keep a Changing: Bivocational Ministry as the New Norm?

Most of the pastors in the world are bivocational.

That has always been true, asserts Karl Vaters, author of The Grasshopper Myth and Small Church Essentials.

Most people attend larger churches, so a larger multi-staff congregation is perceived to be…

Taken By Surprise, A Common Story

Jack Sanders was a dedicated senior pastor of a congregation in a major denomination.

He worked hard for his faith and the churches to which he had been called as pastor.

He and his wife, Melissa, were called…

Pastoral Care: A Special Kind of Listening

When I was a hospice chaplain, I enjoyed working with the social workers in our office.

They were capable and smart.

They knew what to do when a problem arose.

If a patient needed placement in a nursing home…

What Clergy Need to Thrive: Our response

Since 2017 the Center for Lifelong Learning has participated in the Thriving in Ministry initiative of the Lilly Endowment. Columbia seminar is one of 129 organizations across the country participating in this initiative.


The Thriving in Ministry…

The Wounded Clergy Retreat for Ministers and Spouses

The Center for Lifelong Learning will offer two Wounded Clergy Retreats for ministers and their spouses in 2022.

The retreat provides a relaxed atmosphere and confidential setting for healing and encouragement to ministers and their families who have experienced termination,…

Clergy Self Care

The calling to ministry involves service to others, self-denial, and often, self-sacrifice.

For many clergy, investing in self-care, however, can be a challenge.

Whatever its source, feelings of obligation, guilt, or shame; or a lacking sense of boundaries, clergy are…

Improvisation in Ministry: “Yes, and…”

Improv has become, for me, more than playing a collection of silly games aimed at making an audience laugh.

Rather, improv is becoming a way of living.

Improvisers talk about “Yes, and…” If you know anything about improv beyond “Whose…

I still remember the hurt

This is a reflection from a participant in the Healthy Transitions Retreat for Clergy and Spouses of the Ministering to Ministers program.


“I still remember…

The hurt, the frustration,

the anger, the unbelief.

The questions…Why? What just happened?

Losing a Job, Finding a Calling

“Do you think you can find a new job in six months?” asked the committee chairperson.

I had just sat down on the parlor sofa for the annual personnel review, the one the senior pastor had always dismissed.

But there…

Self defeating behaviors in leaders

On any given day we may read about a leader, in corporations, government, business, or religious institutions, who has lost a job, prestige, reputation, or respect due to self-defeating behavior.

A common first response upon reading these instances is, “What…

Knowing When To Fold ‘Em: The Plight of Second Chair Leaders

Congregational staff who occupy the “second chair” often find themselves in a precarious position related to the prospects of their tenure.

Sometimes circumstances dictate this, but also, the relationship with the senior pastor can be a major factor, or, simply…

A Heart Condition Worth Having!

This summer Healthy Seminarians-Healthy Church has the wonderful opportunity for Lucas Mburu, a 2nd-year MATS student at CTS, to complete a part-time supervised ministry with us in partnership with Columbia Presbyterian Church.

Lucas’ internship focuses on “Building Flourishing Communities,” an…

Two Dilemmas Facing Churches Today

A friend took me out to lunch recently. He’s a retired pastor, former seminary professor, former interim minister, and currently a part-time hospice chaplain. Ministry offers varied vocational outlets, so that profile is not that unusual.


As two vocational…