Check out this excerpt from an April 2007 article in the Chicago Tribune:
According to the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, clergy ranked by far the most satisfied and the most generally happy of 198 occupations.
The worker satisfaction study, set for release Tuesday, is based on data collected since 1988 on more than 27,500 randomly selected people.
Eighty-seven percent of clergy said they were "very satisfied" with their work, compared with an average 47 percent for all workers. Sixty-seven percent reported being "very happy," compared with an average 33 percent for all workers.
Jackson Carroll, Williams professor emeritus of religion and society at Duke Divinity School, found similarly high satisfaction when he studied Protestant and Catholic clergy, despite relatively modest salaries and long hours.
"They look at their occupation as a calling," Carroll said. "A pastor does get called on to enter into some of the deepest moments of a person's life, celebrating a birth and sitting with people at times of illness or death. There's a lot of fulfillment."
By Barbara Rose
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 17, 2007
But it would be naive and misguided to think that pastors are having an easy time out there. For a more complete picture, check out some of the resources below that have looked at why clergy leave the profession. Loneliness, conflict with denominational officials, difficulty managing change, burnout, lack of mobility in rural settings . . . these are significant issues. The authors conclude that seminaries need to do a better job preparing students for practical issues, clergy need to continue to monitor self-care issues, and real issues that plague clergy need to be addressed in the open as opposed to being hidden.
See some good clear research that has been sponsored by Duke Divinity School's Pulpit & Pew: Research on Pastoral Leadership.
Reports. Summaries and full reports available at links below.
Factors Shaping Clergy Careers: A Wakeup Call for Protestant Denominations and Pastors
By Patricia M.Y. Chang
Assessing the Clergy Supply in the 21st Century
By Patricia M. Y. Chang
Book. Reviews available at link below:
By Dean R. Hoge and Jacqueline E. Wenger
For another article on the job satisfaction survey see:
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle